Former football player of CSKA and the Russian national team Andrei Solomatin he played at the Euro in 1998, and then our youth team also performed below their capabilities. AiF.ru understands the problem and tries to find out what is wrong with our football?
“The Russian youth team (players under 21 – AiF.ru note) really disappointed me a lot,” admits Solomatin. – Before the start of Euro-2021, everyone unanimously said that there had never been such a strong generation. On the one hand, it is difficult to disagree with this – all the players of the national team regularly play in clubs, some even in leading roles.
On the other hand, when I played for the youth team at Euro in 1998, we also had a good gang – with Egor Titov, Vadim Evseev, Maxim Buznikin, Oleg Kornaukhov and other strong guys. But then there was a different format. Mu lost in the first game to a strong Spanish national team and immediately lost the chance to fight for the title further. The Spaniards won that championship.
What happened now? Perhaps the guys themselves somewhat overestimated their strength after the first victory over Iceland 4: 1. Somehow it all came together easily. And then the French beat them in an equal game, and then the Danes finished off in a game where we had almost no chance, although we had to win by two goals.
This is insulting. But let’s look at things realistically. Apart from the home World Cup, what have we achieved internationally in recent years? Not at the club level in European competitions, not at the national team level. Yes, there are some local victories, like over Slovenia, for example, but that’s all. We in Europe are bankrupt against the background of others.
They say: “Russia is a northern country.” Yes, well, but Denmark, which takes us to Euros now, is not northern Denmark? And Norway, where perhaps the strongest footballer was born in recent years, I mean the striker Holland, is not northern Norway? Why do such talents appear there, but we do not?
Let’s go further. Until recently, in Europe, we did not have a single legionnaire in the top championship. Why? Because our players were not needed by anyone. Only recently have Golovin, Miranchuk and Kokorin left. Lesha admits in an interview that in Italy every training session is intensive, and cannot be compared with Russia. There is a different level of players, a completely different competition. This is what we are missing! Competition! For the composition you need to fight, show yourself, jump above your head. Then you will be given a chance in the match, which must still be used. And with our limits, the players initially understood that there was no one to replace them. So why rape yourself and give all your best? Therefore, the level of our championship has dropped in comparison with the leading top five.
And the main thing. All our problems start in children’s football. I myself train the boys now, I try to invest something in them thanks to my experience. But you know, few of the former players go to children’s coaches for various reasons – they pay little, they don’t want to, they don’t let them in, there are different stories. As a result, children are trained by children with no experience of playing at a high level. In Europe, it’s not like that. Any big club has ex-footballers in their coaches who are being watched with their mouths open. The guys absorb the basics of football of the highest level from childhood.
Maybe one day we will come to this. But so far the level of Russian football is at an average-average level, which is proved by the latest failures of the national team and clubs in European competitions.