- In the last six matches before the winter break, CSKA won the RPL only once and fell back to fifth place, and things didn’t go well in the cup after three wins in a row.

What caused the failures


“We got off to a really great start.

I think that when everything goes well in football, you should use it to the maximum.

In the fall, we started losing points that we shouldn't have, we just gave them to our opponents.

During the long season, this happens, but in no case should you miss your own.

It's a matter of concentration.

Sometimes we missed it.

Such situations were repeated several times.

I don't think it's a lack of confidence or underestimation of the opponent.

I have confidence in all players and coaches.

Now we are not in the place in the table that we deserve.

- From October 8 to November 13, the team held five metropolitan derbies.

How hard is it emotionally to play in such matches every week?

- For me, it doesn't make much difference whether we play with teams from the capital or other cities.

Of course, I understand what a derby is, but the preparation for all meetings is the same.

I would not say that there was nervousness.

I think in the matches with Dynamo and Spartak we could win at least one victory, because in both we won the first halves.

They had to take advantage of their chances and increase the difference in the score.

As a result, both games ended in a draw and we could not get closer to Zenit.

- And what game was the most intense for you, not so much emotionally as physically?

- I will single out the match with Spartak.

He was unique in some way.

I know well how to act in such confrontations.

It brings special, incomparable emotions.

But I would also note the game with Krasnodar, where everything around was boiling and melting, like during a volcanic eruption, and most importantly, our team performed well.

As for the match with Zenit, we played them too early.

Not all the players who are now in the team took to the field in St. Petersburg.

The same Willian Rocha joined CSKA later.

But the way we played away with the champion was worth it.

This made it possible to understand how far the team can go in the future, when it reveals its full potential.

- Which of the RPL players had a particularly difficult time with?

- In all the teams on the flank where I play, there are good guys.

I can’t even single out someone in particular who made me work harder than others.

But if someone is celebrated, then the players of Zenit, Dynamo and Spartak.

It was especially interesting to confront them


- In the match with Krasnodar, the referee awarded three penalties to your opponent's goal, and one of them had to be interrupted.

Ever encountered something like this?

- I don’t remember right off the bat, but all the 11-meter ones were put on the case.

You need to understand that if you play with an emphasis on attack and provoke your opponent into fouls, in the good sense of the word, then there is nothing surprising in a large number of penalties.

I was not very upset when the referee canceled my goal on the rebound after a save by Matvey Safonov.

What to do, such is modern football.

VAR often helps referees make the right decisions, but sometimes it throws them off the beat.

However, we are already used to it.

- Derby with Spartak was remembered by many 

for the episode with Roman Zobnin.

Has your position changed a month later?

“It happens in football.

I don't think it's a lack of respect.

Before that, we twice asked Spartak to knock out the ball, but they refused to do it.

I saw that Roman picked up the ball and started moving forward, so I rushed after him and tried to intercept.

He showed me something with his hand, but it was too late.

We continued the offensive and scored a goal.

Could the referee stop the meeting?

If he wanted to, he probably would have done it sooner.

- Did you have a desire to call Zobnin and discuss this moment in order to loop the story?

- Understand, I don’t see anything strange or special in the episode with Roman.

If a football player is on the lawn, the ball is knocked out, but this happens immediately, and not after several passes.

If I called him, it would mean that I did wrong.

And I am completely sure: I did everything right.

But if I cross paths with Zobnin in the city, I will shake his hand.

Outside the field you need to remain people.

I took part in the Belgrade derby between Partizan and Crvena Zvezda many times, and we always showed respect for each other before and after matches.

  • © Anna Aksenova

- Is it possible to compare the Moscow derby in terms of emotions with the Belgrade one?

- It is difficult to do this, since active CSKA fans do not go to the stadium now.

But from the point of view of emotions, everything is similar on the field.

For me, of course, the derby "Crvena Zvezda" - "Partizan" is a little more important, since I am a Serb.

It would be more correct to say that each derby is different from the previous one, each game is unique and brings its own emotions.

At the same time, it is important to tune in not only to them, but also to matches with opponents from the bottom half of the standings.

It is in these meetings that the championship is obtained.

If you want to be high, you must take your points.

And there are simply no easy games, we felt it ourselves.

In the RPL, each team is able to punish for a lack of motivation.

- Does the boycott by active fans have a negative impact on the results of the team?

- First of all, I want to say that even in the absence of fans, I feel the support of the fans.

They drive us forward and try to transfer as much energy as possible.

But the “assets” are sorely lacking, because they charge with special emotions.

I saw how they supported us in the pre-season, and I think that helps a lot.

- Continuing the topic of the confrontation with Spartak: the famous commentator Konstantin Genich promised to come to the VEB Arena in a red-and-white game T-shirt if Fedor Chalov scores 13 or more points in the goal + pass system in the current RPL season.

Have you heard?

- Not.

I am very surprised that someone doubts that the CSKA striker can simply score so many goals in a season, not to mention adding assists to them.

I will be glad to see how Genich fulfills his promise (Chalov has already scored 11 points.

- RT


“Have you made any bets, by any chance?”

- You won’t believe it, but we managed to argue with Baktiyor Zainutdinov on how many goals and from what position we will score.

Successful transfers are also considered.

Let's see who wins the award in the end, but for now I'm in the lead.

- After appearing in CSKA, you asked not to compare yourself with Mario Fernandez, but fans and experts continue.

Does it

serve as a good motivation to become such an iconic figure for the club?

- As I said, Fernandez is a legend of CSKA and defended the colors of the team for many years.

But it takes time to compare players.

I would like to write my name in the history of the club, give the fans pleasant emotions and show them my best qualities.

- You are the only field player along with Fedor Chalov who appeared on the field in all CSKA matches in the RPL.

Do you feel the confidence of Vladimir Fedotov?

- For each player it is necessary to feel the trust of the coach.

This helps to gain self-confidence.

I have complete mutual understanding with Fedotov and his assistants.

Every time you step on the field, you have to prove that you deserve it.

And the more you play, the more responsibility you bear.

And I'm not afraid of her.

How did your first impressions of Fedotov match what you saw later?

How does he bribe you and how often do you communicate personally?

— I think the coach has a good connection with the players.

I really appreciate directness and honesty in coaching.

If he says something, it is immediately clear what he is talking about.

Vladimir Valentinovich will always tell you how to act in this or that episode.

His assistants also help us and explain everything correctly.

I especially like one phrase that he constantly repeats: “Football is joy and passion.

Putting on the boots, we have to go out on the field with these feelings.”

For six months, the coach at each lesson requires us to improve and improve our game.

- Sometimes one gets the impression that Fedotov is a rather strict specialist.

Is it so?

- When you are a coach, you need to be demanding.

But Fedotov is strict in a good way.

If he sees that you are doing something wrong, he will definitely pay attention.

The saying “Cause is time, fun is an hour” is about him.

Off the field he always smiles, but during work he becomes serious.

Believe me, the players themselves love it when the mentor communicates with them directly and frankly points out shortcomings.

- With whom in CSKA did you have the closest relationship in six months, except for your compatriot Sasha Zdelar?

- In addition to a compatriot, I would note one company of players who constantly joke.

And we try to joke with everyone as much as possible.

As I said, I have a very good relationship with Zainutdinov, we often spend time together.

I would also single out Ivan Oblyakov, Igor Diveev, Chalov.

We regularly meet in the gym, and there is always a topic for communication.

  • © Anna Aksenova

- Who is the main joker in the team?

— Maxim Mukhin.

He has a very good sense of humor.

- Zoran Tosic and Milos Krasic took partners to a Serbian restaurant to rally the team.

How do you spend time with your teammates?

- Baha has already bet Sasha and me one dinner at the restaurant, so I'm waiting for an invitation from him.

We often walk around Moscow with the guys, go to different cafes.

Young, ambitious and hungry for victories have gathered in CSKA, and we just need to get to know each other better off the field.

- Igor Akinfeev does not show dissatisfaction when the team has too much fun and jokes?

— We have great respect for our goalkeeper and club legend.

I think Igor perfectly feels the moment when you need to shout at the players, and when to liberate them.

I would compare Akinfeev with a wall.

He not only copes well with direct duties, but also starts attacks well, and also manages the team well.

As for disputes on the field, we often discuss game moments, but we do not do this during matches.

Igor never shouts for no reason, he always wants to help the defenders.

- There was a time when European top clubs were interested in Akinfeev.

How many Russian football players could play in Europe now?

- I believe that in every team, especially if you take the top five of the RPL, there are five or six players who could play in the leading European championships.

It's just that in modern football it's very important to be noticed at the right moment, so that you sign a contract on time.

But as far as skill is concerned, in Russia, of course, there are enough talented guys.

- Many believe that most teams in Russia are aimed at destruction.

Can you compare the RPL with Ligue 1, where did you play?

- It is necessary to give all your best on the field everywhere.

Yes, in France there are teams that are superior to Russian teams, but globally the level of championships is approximately equal.

In Russia, they also like to play athletic football, and here you also have to act at maximum speeds.

As for the closeness of the Russian championship, it is no coincidence that there is a saying "Any attack begins with a good defense."

With this I connect the fact that many people first of all try not to miss.

At the same time, in Russia every week I see a large number of goals scored.

And I would not say that outsiders park "buses" at their gates.

- Why then clubs from the leading European leagues are more willing to acquire Serbs than Russians?

- Perhaps Russian football players like to play in the national championship.

I know from my own experience that it is most comfortable to perform in your own country.

But in the course of your career, there are hundreds of options when you can go to another club.

For Serbs to establish themselves in Europe is a kind of challenge.

- In your opinion, does Zenit look like PSG - a hegemon that can afford to buy anyone and dictate terms to the entire league?

- Both PSG and Zenit have their own style.

They don't play like other teams.

But if we take the Petersburgers, I don’t think that they are so superior to their rivals in the RPL.

The advantage of the Parisians in France is much more palpable.

And in order to get closer to them with blue-white-blue, you will have to buy Neymar and Lionel Messi.

But, of course, the more money you invest in acquiring stars, the higher the level of the team becomes.

- The gap between CSKA and Zenit is already 13 points.

Dreams of the championship should be postponed until next season?

We will fight until the last second of the last match.

I don't know how real it is, but we will never give up.

To win titles, you need to build a team.

Do not forget that we have a fairly young team and a new coaching staff, so it will take time.

Each player sets himself the task of collecting as many trophies as possible in his career, and in CSKA this is doubly pleasant.

- At the same time, it will not work to gain experience at a serious level, because in the near future Russian clubs will not be able to take part in European competitions.

Doesn't it bother you?

— No, absolutely.

When I moved to CSKA, I understood that for some time we would be cut off from the leading club tournaments.

However, this did not affect my motivation and desire to play for the team.

  • © Anna Aksenova

- Nevertheless, the lack of European cups could be the reason for your failure to get into the application of the Serbian national team for the World Cup in Qatar.

- Maybe.

But the RPL is a strong league, and the game here is more than enough reason to call.

I have not spoken to Dragan Stojkovic, but every player is waiting for a call to the national team.

I was part of this team and took to the field in the qualifying matches.

I wish the guys success.

I hope that Serbia will beat Brazil and I will have a reason to joke about Bruno Fuchs.

- Former goalkeeper of the Russian national team Sergei Ovchinnikov calls Serbia one of the shadow favorites of the World Cup.

Do you agree?

- A special atmosphere was established in the team, which was not there before.

After the arrival of Stojkovic, everyone believed in themselves and now they can move mountains.

I think the guys are able to fight with any team in the world on an equal footing.

In my opinion, leaving the group will be a great success.

With the same Switzerland, we have already met at the World Cup in Russia and missed our chance in the 90th minute.

Now we need to play smarter with her and not let Sherdan Shaqiri deprive us


our playoff ticket.

If Serbia successfully performs at the World Cup, uniform madness will begin in the country.

- In Russia, they will worry about Serbia more than anyone else at this World Cup.

- No doubt.

Our countries have a lot in common.

It is very pleasant that, despite any difficulties in life, we continue to support each other.