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"This is not a team championship, but a coaches’ one"

Captain of the team of the television club "What? Where? When?", the owner of two "Crystal Owls" and of the title "The best captain of the club", Alexey Blinov believes that after the World Cup there will be a completely different football in Russia


- You love football for a long time, and you've probably been in fan zones, so you can compare. How do you like the FIFA Fan Festival™ in St. Petersburg?

- Yes, the first World Cup I saw was in 1982 in Spain. Then we did not know about any fan zones, did not understand that there was a fan culture. And I first got to the fan zone in 2008. It was in Manchester at the final of the UEFA Cup, which won FC "Zenit". It is a slightly different feeling here, because the World Cup is what we have dreamed of. What I see here is fantastic! It’s the first time I am at such an energetic and winding event, a significant one, you can say.

- But one Russian coach once said that we are a non-football country.

- You can say anything, but those who are in the stands of stadiums, who come to fan zones or watch matches at home on TVs, and even those who simply help our guests in the streets, show them the metro station, for example - they are all part of this huge holiday, which is called the World Cup. They determine whether we are a football country or not. Not the time of year, not the quality of the fields, not the number of stadiums, but the love to football and the desire to do everything to make the holiday happen. And it will take happen, whoever has spoken the opposite. It has already taken place!

- They said a lot, they were frightened that there would be incidents during the tournament ...

- To be honest, I was also skeptical about the idea of ​​hosting a Fan Festival. What is more, the atmosphere around the championship was so tense. Now I see that people genuinely cheer for their teams, love football, so the Championship is held in such a friendly atmosphere. No one can influence this. The fans decide everything; they rule the world.

- What do you think, at what stage will our team finish the tournament?

- You know, now they will apologize to Stanislav Cherchesov – it is in the trend now, and so I also want to do it. I'm one of those who predicted the failure of the national team, did not believe in the coach, and with shudder observed control matches. Now I'm sure that our players have not yet shown all their strength. I see our team in the match for third place. Good luck to the guys, and I want thank them for the holiday they gave us.

- Did you expect that the outcome of matches in this tournament would be so surprising?

- Of course not! You know, there is a mem on the Internet: Old man Khottabych and Wolka are sitting in the stadium and Volka asks – “Hottabych, but you did not overdo it, did you?” We are now witnessing the collapse of the authorities, and this is an occasion to reflect on the fact that the football world is being redrawn. We used to pay less attention to the Asian and African teams, and they scored a class. In Europe, there is also the shift of the emphasis. Look at the difficulties that the teams of Spain, Argentina, Portugal, and all other experience! Football goes further; there are more and more new centers that set the tone for the game. Remember how the Iran team played! Yes, they have a German coach, and they clearly carry out his setup. This is a completely different football. Another approach. Our championship turned the page of old football - from July 16, 2018, it will be new, completely different.

- Do you have favorites among the tournament participants?

- It is very difficult to talk about the favorites now, you can overstate or underestimate someone. I assumed that it would be a tournament of Latin American teams, historically they were the ball wizards, and they live in football. Therefore, I expect magic from them, but there is no! The new order wins, that beats the class, as is known. Correctly built positioned game, a balanced selection of players determines football. This is a tournament of equal teams, in which there is no obvious favorite. It seems to me that the winner is the one who wants this more and who will clearly carry out the installation of the coach. This is not a team championship, but a coaches’ one, and the coaches define tactics. Nevertheless, personally I want the European team and Latin American to converge in the finals. Latin Americans should win, because they always show beautiful football.

- Do not you think that now the romance has left football?

- It’s gone. However, the game is not the result - it's also the game itself. It's like in a theater - everyone stages "Swan Lake" the same way, but only talented directors and actors on stage have a miracle and magic. I hope this magic will happen in the final of our World Cup.

Interview: Irina Lyakhova,