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Today Arshavin ran, but with Spain at the Euro – no!” Rabiner – about the retro match “Zenith” – the Russian team

The playfully gloomy Alexander Borodyuk , the head coach of the Russian national team in the retromatch against Zenit, grumbled about Andrey Arshavin’s courageous game: “Today he ran, but with Spain in the Euro semi-final – no!”

Seconds earlier, all the participants of the 2008 European Championship from the two teams were photographed together. And that’s when it blew up a little. Basel, quarter-final, orange sea in the stands, Roman Pavlyuchenko opens the scoring, the Dutch win back at the end of the main game, and then, in overtime, Arshavin’s finest hour. A brilliant pass to Dmitry Torbinsky and his own crafty goal under Edwin van der Sar.

Andrei Arshavin hugs Pavel Pogrebnyak.The Russian national team and Zenit returned their 2008. Arshavin worked magic, Shirokov performed beautifully, Karyaka shook the crossbar

This veteran football, as every time lately, was interesting to watch. Guys, more precisely already uncles, definitely didn’t walk across the field, and their stomachs didn’t hang over the lawn. It did not leave the feeling that in the current RPL, many of these masters would not have been lost in the class. Although this feeling may be false, caused only by nostalgia.

On the other hand, have you seen Andrei Karyaka’s shot from thirty meters – and the crazy save by Vyacheslav Malafeev , who soared into the sky and put the ball into the crossbar?! And how did Yuri Zhirkov mint ? And Roman Shirokov gave an assist not in vain – he was good, and it is much more pleasant to look at the language of his pass than to listen to what he often says. Unlike Andrei Sergeevich, with his accuracy of assessments and wit…

Pavel Pogrebnyak , who equalized after a graceful attack involving Arshavin and Shirokov, always said what he thought. First, he praised his partners: “I can not train in this company for a year and still score! With such partners, “and then, when asked about the sensations during the Euro, which he missed due to an injury at the training camp, he took a break for a few seconds and admitted:” Double. And it was possible to understand him – Pogrebnyak, the best sniper of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, together with Luca Toni (Konstantin Zyryanov did not fail to remind the TV people about these regalia), while preparing for the European Championship, slapped such a top of Serbia with a long-range strike! And in the same game broke. True, Pavlyuchenko perfectly picked up the banner that had fallen from his hands.

And now the long-range strike was scored not by the one who, when he was an active player, did it often – Evgeny Aldonin . The first, by the way, is the captain of the Russian national team under Guus Hiddink, if anyone has forgotten. And, I think, many have forgotten, since the then soldier quickly dropped out of the team of Gus Ivanovich (who is actually Gerritovich). And Sergey Semak went to Austria and Switzerland with a bandage, just attracted to the team after a long break. And I missed him on the field yesterday. Like Roman Pavlyuchenko, Alexander Kerzhakov…

Footballers of Zenit and the Russian national team take the field
RFU photo

It is a pity that without Gus and Dick. And instead of Bilan, 2008 would have been better represented by Kovalchuk – on the field

And on the benches, two main people were sorely lacking, thanks to whom both the UEFA Cup with the Zenit Super Cup and the bronze fairy tale of the national team became possible in the same magical 2008. Our two wonderful Dutchmen – the already mentioned Hiddink and Dick Advocaat . As I was told, both of them were called by their first assistant Borodyuk and there were even some chances for the Advocate. But, as they say, the score is on the scoreboard. However, this does not lessen the love of both coaches for their former teams and players, nor the warmth of the memories of the players, nor the memory of the fans, for whom that football year was a year of dreams.

If Hiddink was replaced by his assistants Borodyuk and Igor Korneev , then the acting general director Alexander Medvedev turned out to be the head coach of Zenit . Apparently, this is a reference to hockey, in which the same 2008 brought the first gold to the Russians at the world championships in 15 years, epic Quebec, and Alexander Ivanovich in September of that year became the first president of the KHL. And it would be nice to invite Ilya Kovalchuk, the protagonist of that World Cup, to play in some role. Moreover, for St. Petersburg, he is far from a stranger. Why shouldn’t he play in attack with the Russian national team? Alexander Ovechkin for Dynamo against Amkal maybe, but Kovalchuk – no, or what? This, and even if it had been announced in advance, I think it could attract people to the stadium on a weekday.

I wrote in the Telegram channel that, in my opinion, Dima Bilan, a non-football person, was at the retromatch, but they objected to me: they say, this is because just in 2008 he won Eurovision and the organizers did reconstruction of that year. But what about sports? Then write Kovalchuk or some other significant figures from the hockey team into the script; Elena Dementieva, who won the Olympic tennis tournament in Beijing in the same year in singles, another of the heroes of sports …

Pavel Pogrebnyak shoots Vladimir Gabulov

Photo Evgeny Vasiliev, FC Zenit

“Football players are capricious people.” That’s why there was no penalty shootout

Something, however, I grumbled, forgive me – something good has been done. So now I’m generally jumping into criticism – they say, how could you ignore the penalty shootout, which was spelled out in the regulations? But, as Shirokov said, “football players are capricious people.” Both Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and others confirmed that no one wanted to lose. And what are the regulations in an unofficial match for 60 minutes? Although after such a series, no doubt, there would be something to discuss.

Although is it so – nothing? What balls was dragged by Gabulov , a participant in the most important and also unforgettable Luzhnikov qualifying match for Euro 2008 Russia – England! Shirokov hit from close range, Zyryanov with his head – Vladimir stood like a wall. The save of the day was certainly made by Malafeev, but Gabulov was also incomparable. I missed it only when it was already … it was necessary. Arshavin admitted: “He said to Gabul:“ It’s good that he missed it, otherwise they would have played to the point!

The RFU had a hard time – the match, in fact, was organized in five days. As far as I know, it was the football union that invited Arshavin to the match from vacation. Alejandro Dominguez and Fatih Tekke were not among the participants, who did not receive an invitation from St. Petersburg. At the arrival of the captain of Zenit – 2008 Anatoly Timoshchuk (again from vacation) the club did not insist – his name was Igonin and Pogrebnyak. Zhirkov, Malafeev, Pogrebnyak and Shirokov invited the RFU. Kerzhakov, with whom Medvedev contacted, according to my information, refused.

Initially, Zhirkov, Zyryanov (both were given to Zenit), Pavlyuchenko (he ended up staying in Turkey, where he spends his holidays), Oleg Ivanov and Roman Adamov, who fell ill at the last moment, were supposed to play for the national team; for Zenit – Tymoshchuk, Dominguez, Tekke and Alexander Anyukov.

Nevertheless, the game took place, and many of its fragments delighted 16,000 spectators – attendance for the summer, weekdays and off-season is quite decent. Special thanks must be said for this to the main organizer of the retromatches, Kirill Tereshin, the person who came up with such a job for himself – transferring warm stories from the past to the present.

Footballers of "Zenith" and the Russian team after the match.
RFU photo

Do not beat your head, but you need to think!

… The author of the second goal in the 2008 UEFA Cup final Zyryanov , who recently entered the first league at the head of the Novorossiysk Chernomorets, and played for the first time at the Gazprom Arena, effectively formulated: “I understand that heading is not my strong quality. A strong quality is what I think with my head.”

And then I remembered similar old words of the great Tbilisi footballer David Kipiani. Already when he was a coach, he said: do you know why he hit his head so rarely? Because she needs to think!

The players who took to the field in St. Petersburg, for the most part, knew how to think on the field, and well. Now, fifteen years later, we understand this much better than then, because we were able to compare. And miss them. By players, by times…

Interestingly, this – “they knew how to think” – in fifteen years they will say about the current Russian football players? ..


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