The European Football Championship 2012
Russia 4 (2-0) 1 Czech Republic
arshavin.eu: Andrey, congratulations on the victory!
AA: Good night :)
arshavin.eu: That's right, the country is celebrating. Thanks to the team. Tell me, weren’t you surprised by the way the Czechs started the match?
AA: I agree, we did not expect our opponent to start the game like that. The Czechs rushed forward, creating danger at our goal, they managed to earn and use some set pieces and corners. They took possession of the ball, of the territory, started putting pressure in our zone. Why? Because we could not get out of defense. As soon as it started to turn out right, we immediately began creating dangerous moments in front of Cech. The counterattacks our Russian national team produced then were memorable and precise. And two of them were effective. 2:0. A good score for the first half.
arshavin.eu: In the beginning of the first half Advocaat said something to you.
AA: Dick asked me to control the attacks of the right defender of the Czech national team.
arshavin.eu: In the second half your opponent managed to score a quick goal. Didn’t it make our team a little bit nervous?
AA: I would not say that we experienced some sort of fear. I’d rather describe my feelings at that moment as apprehension. Of course, having scored a goal, the Czechs showed that they managed to crack open our defense. It’s obvious that had we conceded one more goal, it is unknown how the game would have ended. So we had to try and take the game away from our goal. We had to take control and not to expect our rival not to score. And our counterattack, in which Alan scored an important goal, was just in time. After that goal, I think the Czechs didn’t even think about winning that game.
arshavin.eu: Were they broken psychologically?
AA: I think yes, the score was 3-1, they were only thinking about finishing the game with dignity.
arshavin.eu: There were Arsenal players in both lineups. I'm sure Arsene Wenger was following the game with interest. I remember a few years ago, I was a witness to your dialogue with Rosicky who was recovering after long-term treatment. You were on very good terms with him. Did you have a chance to talk to him today?
AA: Ahead of the game we greeted each other, had a laugh. Of course, we were glad to meet. I reminded him how six months ago I said: "there will come a day, on June 8 when we will shake hands with you as rivals”
arshavin.eu: Let's take a look inside the Russian national team locker room after the game.
AA: You are welcome. The atmosphere was very good. On the one hand, everybody was happy with the result today, we were really excited. On the other hand, we know that in three days we are having a very difficult match against the team that hosts the championship. Everything in that game wouldn’t be as easy as today.
arshavin.eu: Do you think there will be any changes in the lineup?
AA: I’m not the coach. I do not know.
arshavin.eu: Poland and Greece.
AA: We haven’t seen this game. But it’s a good result for us.
arshavin.eu: A few words about the fans.
AA: I think the fans of both teams did a good job. But I believe our fans had more reasons to be happy :). In general, there was plenty of support from both sides. At the end I would like to thank our fans for their support at the stadium and at home. And I also would like to ask you to keep faith in our team. Always.