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6 Feb, 2009 09:47

Football: CSKA dream big with new coach

The President of CSKA says Russian football will emerge from the global financial downturn stronger than ever.

In a full and frank interview with RT, Evgeny Ginner said the Russian premiership was in a better position than other European leagues to weather the storm.

Evgeny Giner has been a part of the CSKA success story over the last decade. Under his presidency the team won the Russian title three times, the Russian cup four times and became the first team in the premier league to lift the UEFA cup.

The Army Men are now entering a new era with the arrival of Brazilian coach Zico. He replaces Valery Gazzaev – who’s been put together winning squads since 2002.

“Valery Gazzaev did a lot for CSKA. Seven years flew by in the blink of an eye. However the team isn’t made for one coach or one player,” Ginner says.

CSKA have produced a number of talented players over the last few years: Yury Zhirkov, Igor Akinfeev, Aleksey Berezutsky and Alan Dzagoev have become household names among Russian football fans.

But the club's foreign legion has also been a determining factor in the team's success. The most notable players are of course Brazilians like Wagner Love and Daniel Carvalho.

Some wonder whether the new Brazilian head coach will build the new team based on his countrymen.

Evgeny Giner is sure that in the first place Zico will be training good footballers:

“Zico is Brazilian only by nationality, but actually he is a coach. He doesn’t make any distinction between Brazilians, Russians, Serbs or anyone else. It’s of major importance that players perform well and then football levels will be enhanced,”
Giner believes.

As the world financial downturn has taken its toll on world football, top European clubs are being more discriminate in their spending.

But CSKA president says his club – including other teams in the Russian championship – could be less affected in the long term.

“Russian football exists on subsidies and its shareholders complete the approved budget despite their losses in business. The only possible thing is that shareholders might allocate the funds more problematically. Our football championship doesn’t earn much yet, and that’s why the crisis would not affect us as much as, let’s say, the English or Spanish leagues,” he said.

The Russian football premier league season starts on March 14. CSKA will showcase their new team in an away match against Saturn in the Moscow region.