Berdyev Passion: why match between Rubin and Rostov is especial
Rubin-Kazan had an open training for the press on 16 November on the eve of the 14th round of the Russian Championships against Rostov. Realnoe Vremya tells how the team is preparing for this game.
It seems that it is an ordinary match of middling teams of the standing. They were and will be many. But the rush before the game is incredible. Rubin and Rostov has had a connection in the last years. The name of this connection is Kurban Berdyev.
The former coach of Rubin headed Rostov in December 2014 — one year after his dismissal from the Kazan club. During this time, the club from Rostov-on-Don won a silver medal in the Russian Football Premier League last year, debuted in the Champions League, while Rubin changed three coaches. The teams played three times, each game was important.
Head coach of Rubin Javier Gracia was asked questions about Berdyev during the traditional media scrum. The coach noted he did not know Berdyev personally. But he knew all his achievements at Rubin and Rostov.
'I can say little about the coach because I don't know him personally. I know that the previous stage of Berdyev's career was connected with Rubin and that it was very successful. I think Rostov is a team that plays well in both the Russian Championship and Champions League. It is a powerful and well-organised team that has good players, including in attack.'
Rubin's greatest victories were in Spain. Was it noticeable there? Did Berdyev teach Spanish coaches anything?
'I very carefully follow football, including European competitions. Of course, I would like to play in European contests with Rubin. Now it is my biggest desire.'
Now Rostov is really good. But at times the Rostov-on-Don club fields its second squad in matches of the Russian Championship, so that the first team will be able to play in the Champions League in good shape. This is why the team is a neighbour of Rubin that has had not the most successful start.
A small scandal linked with Rubin and Rostov has broken out recently. It is about Serdar Azmun's transfer from the Kazan to Don club. Both sides have different points of view on this situation, which is quite natural. Now FIFA is finding out the correctness of this transfer. The final decision whether to pay money or not for the player is likely to also be made by FIFA.
On 15 November, our newspaper knew that Rubin sent a claim to the Investigative Committee of Russia in Tatarstan with respect to the use of a fake document. The story is complicated.
'Thoughts focused on how to prepare the team for the upcoming match well'
Before the training, head coach of Rubin Gracia told that the cold weather in Kazan did not affect the preparation of the team for the match against Rostov.
'We are training as usual. Indeed, it got colder a bit, there is more snow. But I think we can train as usual despite this weather.'
The coach also noted that the upcoming match was as important as any other game of the championship.
'If you ask me this question today, I will say that the match against Rostov is the most important. If you ask this question in a week, I will tell the game next week will be the most important. I think such a mood, aspiration and desire to score points in the nearest matches is needed in every game.'
There also were asked question about the recent friendly of the national team of Russia against Romania where Rubin's defender Magomed Ozdoev scored the only goal.
Did you see the match of the Russian squad? Was Ozdoev offside when he scored the goal?
I did. I think it was an awesome goal. It is good that Magomed, out player, did it.
At the same time Gracia noted that Ozdoev was unlikely to play in the match against Rostov.
'The thing is that Magomed arrived in Kazan quite late. Today he will be at the base in the afternoon. And he will start training with the team tomorrow.'
Answering a question about the day-off granted to the player, Gracia noticed that he was not going to control the players' personal life completely. The most important thing is to prepare the team and win necessary victories.
'After the second half, I was asked about three days off. Then the game was good. Now we are playing against a rival that had more days off than we. We had only two. We thought it was enough. We judge by the team. Yes, we can whether control the personal life of the player or not. To a certain degree. Somebody has taken a plane today. Somebody participated in Mannequin Challenge. My thoughts are focused on how to prepare the team for the upcoming match well and how to organise the training process to score necessary points. Preparation for the match is the most important thing now.'
Rubin without Russian national team players
Two players of the national team of Russia from Rubin-Kazan missed the open training organised for the press. Denis Tkachuk continues his recovery from an injury, while Magomed Ozdoev, as it has been said above, will arrive later. The third player of the Russian squad Maksim Kanunnikov also continues recovering from his injury. This time he trained individually.
In general, the problem with injured players has been very topical at Rubin. Gracia noted that no injured player should be expected on the pitch.
'Every injured player has his own recovery dynamics. As for Oleg Kuzmin, he does exercises together with the group. But he needs more time to recover. Kuzmin won't play in the match against Rostov. The other players also follow their recovery dynamics. They are unlikely to play in this match.'
How much does the situation with injured players Russian — Kanunnikov, Tkachuk, Kambolov — affect the preparation?
It complicates our task. As for Kanunnikov and Tkachuk, they are the players who actively played in recent time and did much for the team to achieve the results we have. I won't forecast what game they will be able to play in. I don't want to speak about it.
Neither statistics says anything
The coming match between Rubin and Rostov will be very tense. But we should not be waiting for a pile of goals. The Don team is likely to field its second team, and Kazan players did not learn how to break their rival's defence at a short distance.
However, bookmakers think that Rubin is the favourite in this game, though it is not an obvious leader whose victory can be estimated at 2,10. The guest team's win makes up 3,98 — bookmakers are not sure about Berdyev's team.
Judging by the last matches of the teams, Rostov has an advantage. Three matches took place after Berdyev headed the club. The Don team won two of them. And both were in the last season. Rubin won its only victory in early 2015 when Berdyev just headed his new club and pulled it from the 15th position in the standing of the Russian Championship.