“The tenth line is not the place of Spartak
- In early February, Spartak won the Premier Cup for the second time. How did the team react to the conquest of this trophy?
- First of all, it was important for us at this training camp to prepare well for the spring part of the championship. It was necessary to change some tactical moments, to work on the game. But winning any tournament is always enjoyable. In part, this success is the result of the work that was done in training. So we are moving in the right direction.
- Spartak went on a winter break in the Russian championship in tenth place. The team has practically no chance to get into European competitions through the RPL. What motivation can a young legionnaire have in such a situation?
- Let me disagree. All is not lost in the championship. If we win all matches in the spring, we can catch on to the Europa League zone, or even the Champions League. Plus, we must not forget that there is the Cup of Russia through which you can also break into the European competition. This is a great motivation. Among other things, the tenth line is not the place of Spartak. Improving our position in the standings is another motivation. In addition, I am young and strive to develop, grow as a professional. Plus, I'm still new to the team, and I need to gain a foothold in the composition, to prove that I am worthy to play at the core. And this is another challenge. As you can see, motivation in order not to give up in the spring is enough.
- Many did not understand your move to Russia. After all, you could play with Slavia in the Champions League, but went to Spartak, which even flew out of the Europa League.
- In fact, there are a lot of reasons for my transfer. I can list them for a long time, but I will name the two most important ones. First, let's ask ourselves: how often do Czech footballers move to Europe? I'm not talking about conditional Belgium now, but I mean top championships. There are only a few such players. This is due to the fact that Czechs are rarely in sight. There are few clubs in the country that regularly perform in European competitions. In the Champions League this season played “Slavia”, before that was “Victoria Plzen”. As a result, two or three already held footballers go somewhere. Right now, Slavia vividly played in the group stage of the Champions League, following the results of her performance, one transfer took place - Tomas Soucek went on loan to West Ham.
It seems to me that the reason is that Czech players need to get out early in good European championships - I’m talking about Russia or the same Belgium - in order to show their worth there, to be in front of top clubs, and not to overripe in the Czech championship. I am a young player, and when I had the opportunity to leave for the RPL, I took advantage of it.
- But RPL is not a top league.
- More recently, she was ranked sixth in the UEFA ranking, this is a good championship. From Russia, it’s much easier to go up. In addition, I didn’t move somewhere, but to Spartak, the largest club in your country. He is known all over the world. I was also interested in the project being built here. Red and white decided to create a new team with young players. I am young and it is important for me to get a lot of practice. Moving to Moscow, I realized that I would get it here.
- But at the same time, going to the young team, you should have understood that it would take time to become.
- You are absolutely right. Instability is characteristic of young players, they can play one match at an excellent level, and play the next badly. But we have a huge motivation that will help to achieve success. We are led by a class coach, we work well. I believe that we can achieve a lot.
- After the Czech League, did the RPL speed seem to be cosmic?
- I would not say that they are radically higher. Still, Czech teams also perform in European competitions. With Slavia in the playoffs of the Europa League, for example, I played against Chelsea and Sevilla, and even scored the latter. But in RPL, on average, football players have great individual skill, they process the ball faster and play with one touch.
- Spartak paid a round sum for you. Only Tomasz Rosicki bought more expensive from the Czech Championship. Does this impose additional responsibility?
- On the one hand, this is a really big amount, on the other - a question of the relationship between the two clubs. Yes, for the Czech league € 12 million is a lot of money, but for me it doesn’t matter. Much more important is how I speak and what level of the game I demonstrate. And all these millions do not press me.
- Do you understand that fans expect from you not just a good game, but miracles on the field?
- You are right when such money is paid for you, the fans immediately demand magic. This creates some pressure, but I just try not to attach any importance to it.
“I give most of the money to my father”
- At Spartak, your salary has increased significantly. You are only 21 years old. Not dizzy from money?
- I do not see any problem in this. I just started to earn more. You need to understand that my contract is designed for only five years, and no one knows what can happen to me after this period. Suddenly this is the last agreement of my career. Therefore, my father taught me that money needs to be invested so that it works for you in the future. This is what I do. Yes, I can spend money on vacation, rest, but I also invest in myself, in my health and development. I take money carefully.
- What is the biggest waste in your life.
- Again, this is an investment. I am buying property. Of course, it takes a lot of money.
- What is the most expensive whim allowed yourself?
“If I like something, and I can afford it, why not buy it?” But it is always important to have boundaries. I have a fixed amount that I can spend on myself per month. I try not to go beyond its framework. And I give most of the money to my father, who monitors my finances. I love cars, and I can afford cars. As for jewelry, it is indifferent to them. For example, I have a watch, but this is a gift. And most of all I like to spend money on my near and dear ones. Buying a father a car, taking my family to relax on vacation - it gives me great pleasure.
“You said love for cars.” Do you drive in Moscow yourself?
- Not. I had a car in Prague, but when I left for Russia, I sold it, and with this money I bought a car for my father. In Moscow, I’m moving with the driver so far. In the future, maybe, and here I will have my own car.
- In “Spartak” there are now many young soccer players, both Russians and foreign players. How do they differ from their peers from the Czech Republic?
- The difference is only in the passport. Rather, it is worth talking about some individual features. There are really a lot of young guys at Spartak, and all of them are very nice people. For example, take Zelimkhan Bakaev. Yes, we cannot fully communicate, because he speaks English just like I do in Russian - not very well. But since we are peers, we have similar interests, and we will always find mutual understanding. It helped me a lot at first at Spartak.
- Which of the Russian guys do you communicate with most?
- It's hard to single out someone. I communicate well with everyone: Baka, Roma Zobnin, Ilya Kutepov. You can also mention Reziuana Mirzova, with whom we have our own jokes. But more often I still communicate with Zelimkhan.
- How is the Russian language given to you?
- I understand a little ( speaks Russian. - RT ). Nevertheless, there are a lot of similar words in Czech, and even more of them in Slovak - I was born in Slovakia and speak this language. And the football language is generally universal, and here I understand almost everything. But when the guys speak Russian to each other, I'm a little lost. Therefore, I plan to learn the language and do not lose heart.
- We talked about Bakaev. Already, many send him to the leading European championships. Do you think he is ready for such a transition?
- It all depends on where exactly he wants to go. Zelimkhan has an excellent technique, he is very good at dribbling and in a one-on-one game. He has a bright head. But not every championship will suit him. Everything is individual here. I can say the same about the other young guys from our team. But many of us are able to play abroad.
“The match with Zenit in St. Petersburg turned out to be strange”
- Which of the rival Russians really impressed you?
- I well remember the game with Zenit in the first round, before which I was introduced to the fans. I went to the stands, and as part of the St. Petersburg team that evening, the opornik looked bright at the sixth position. I do not remember his name (Magomed Ozdoev. - RT ). Artyom Dziuba, of course, is also in perfect order. In general, Russia is full of qualified football players.
- What surprised you in the RPL at first?
- Amazed by the number of fans in the stands. Spartak regularly collects 30-40 thousand, depending on the venue of the match. At home meetings, “Slavia” comes 19 thousand, the stadium simply does not accommodate more. But at the exit, only 3-5 thousand came to us.
- But what about long-distance trips? You traveled by bus in the Czech Republic.
- I'm used to travel, it’s normal for me. You need to understand that sometimes we traveled by bus for four to five hours. And in Russia, you board a plane and get in just a couple of hours, plus we fly on charters and do not need to stand in line. The discomfort is minimal.
- In the first part of the season there were a lot of judicial scandals. Did it surprise you?
- In the Czech Republic, the same thing happens. This is the refereeing. But the match with Zenit in St. Petersburg really turned out to be strange, because the judge did not understand the controversial episodes, despite the opportunity to watch the replay. What can you do, this happens.
- There are constantly rumors about interest in you from foreign clubs ...
- In previous interviews, he said that you need to be prepared in every sense for the transition to the top league. I have no purpose at all costs to leave somewhere. Let's see how life will turn out. In the summer there will be a European Championship, which I hope to go to. A good performance there can bring you closer to a good offer from a strong championship. But, I repeat, in order to leave somewhere, several factors must coincide at once.
- Earlier you said that England is your little dream. Still want to go there first?
- Of course. But I do not exclude the possibility that I will spend my whole career or most of it in Spartak. It all depends on the situation and the moment.
“UFC cannot be compared with football”
- What sports do you enjoy besides football?
- I’ll call “Formula 1”, before I was actively interested. But there’s no such thing as watching sports on TV. It takes a lot of time, and I would rather spend it on a girl, a family. I also follow the UFC.
- Habib Nurmagomedov is now popular even in the Czech Republic?
“They know him there first of all by the battle with Conor McGregor.”
- Who is your favorite UFC fighter ?
- Of course, Mahmud Muradov, my great friend. This is an Uzbek fighter living in the Czech Republic. He performs under the flags of two countries at once.
- How did you meet?
- When they played with Slavia in the Europa League, Mahmoud came to the stadium, and after one of the matches he wrote to me, something in the spirit: “You had a good game. Well done". I answered him. Started to communicate. And a few years before that, I watched his fights in Czech mixed martial arts promotions.
- Did he advise you anything before moving to Russia?
- I advised several restaurants where you can go. And just recently, in December, when the UFC tournament was held in Moscow, we had dinner together. By the way, he speaks gorgeous Russian, so I’m thinking of hiring him as my teacher. In general, Mahmoud is a smart, modest guy.
- Do you know that he worked for a long time in Russia at a construction site?
- Of course. Mahmoud himself told me about this. What he started from, and who he became, is an amazing life story.
- What do you think is more difficult, football or mixed martial arts?
- Of course, mixed martial arts. Firstly, this is not a team sport, but an individual one. Here everyone looks only at you. With football, this does not go to any comparison whatsoever. Just a crazy sport. Imagine how many hits they miss. Sometimes, after hard joints, my legs hurt, and what can I say about the fighters who sweep each other.
- Muradov showed you some tricks?
- By the way, when I am joking with friends in a friendly way, he can hurt the moose on his leg. But, seriously, Mahmoud several times called me to train with him. Of course, we are not talking about going into the octagon. This refers to work in the hall, jogging, functional training. Perhaps the next time I go home, I will accept his offer.