After a dazzling start to his career in the Latvian Virsliga, Valmiera FC striker Raimonds Krollis (21) will continue to play football in the Italian Serie A club “Spezia Calcio”. After the agreement was reached between the two clubs, Raimonds successfully passed the medical tests and put his signature on the four-year contract.
When Krollis takes the pitch in the new club, he will become the first Latvian footballer to have played in the Italian Serie A – one of the TOP 5 leagues in the world. The talented striker of the Latvian national team, after joining from FK Metta in 2021, has played the last two seasons in Valmiera, playing 66 games and scoring 38 goals, 24 of them in last year’s Optibet Virsliga season, which ended with Valmiera FC winning the championship title.
For his fantastic performance in 2022, Krollis received four awards at the Latvian Football Federation (LFF) laureates’ evening. He was recognized for the third time in a row as the best youth footballer, and for the second time in a row – as the best striker of the Virsliga season. He was also awarded the best player and goal scorer.
“I am very pleased with Raimonds joining the Serie A club, I am especially pleased that it happened with a Latvian player,” said Valmiera FC head coach Jurģis Kalns. “The work we have invested in Valmiera has paid off, so we are working in the right direction. I wish Raimonds not to stop at what he has achieved and to continue developing his talent, which he clearly has, and then the result won’t be far – I am sure that he will also succeed at this level in Italy. That’s the idea – in Raimond’s own words.”
The new Latvian club from the seaside city of the Liguria region, Spezia, is rich in tradition and history – it was founded in 1906. In recent history, after several years of efforts to enter Serie A, it finally succeeded in 2020-21. This is already the third season in a row in the highest Italian football division, and similar to the previous ones, “Spezia” is also fighting to keep its place in Serie A – after 18 games played, the team led by the Italian specialist Luca Gotti currently ranks 15th in the tournament table in the competition of 20 teams.
Krollis’ transition is a successful continuation of Valmiera FC’s declared vision of being a springboard to a higher level at the beginning of the professional career of young and talented footballers. In 2020, Nigerian striker Toluwalase Arokodare moved to Koln of the German Bundesliga after a brilliant performance in Valmiera. Last August, another club player – Tunisian Motez Zadem joined the Tunisian champion team – “Esperance Sportive de Tunis”.