Former CSKA midfielder Kristiyan Bistrovich has not played in the RPL for a long time, but he immediately made his mark with a great debut for Baltika and saved the team from defeat in the match against Rostov.
In an interview with Championship, Bistrovich spoke about his conversation with Fedotov, Ignashevich as coach and his brilliant debut for Baltika.
— You made a great debut with Baltika and saved the team in added time. Share your emotions. “I really wanted to get on the field.” This is my first official game in four months and I was very excited. I really missed football and official matches, I enjoyed every minute, every second on the field! I am happy to score a goal in my first game with Baltika. I’m disappointed because we couldn’t beat Rostov, but we showed our potential and character. If we hadn’t made stupid mistakes, we would have had three points in the bag.
– You only score nice goals. What is the secret? – There is no secret at all. Since I was little I have had a good opportunity and I always work hard to achieve it. I even had a coach who helped me with free throws and long throws. Playing in the center of the field, you have many opportunities to shoot from outside the area. I use this.
— Can you call your debut ideal? — Not very modest, but yes (laughs). The debut really turned out great. Although there is always room to grow. I’m still new to the team and the style of play, but I’m confident I can fit in well. I have only had two or three training sessions with the team, but I can already boast of remembering the names of all my teammates.
— Baltika so far only has one victory in the RPL. Does this put a lot of pressure on the team? — I watched several of the team’s games this season. The kids are just unlucky. I think that in the near future we will definitely get the points we are missing and gain confidence. Baltika players have enough quality to match the level of RPL. We will do everything possible to rise from the bottom of the standings and maintain our record in the RPL.
—What do you think of Kaliningrad? They say it is the most European city in Russia. — The weather is wonderful here. The city is really different from all of Russia, in some aspects it is even unique and very close to Europe. Kaliningrad is much quieter than Moscow, I noticed it immediately.
—This summer you returned to CSKA. Was there no option to stay on the team? —When I returned, I was sure I would stay. Very quickly I had a conversation with Fedotov. The coach immediately made it clear that my position on the team was very competitive and that it would be extremely difficult to earn a spot on the squad. It was very important for me to practice the game to get in shape after an injury. Nobody promised this at CSKA.
“It turns out that Fedotov didn’t even give you a chance.” — Vladimir Valentinovich was fair and tactful. To be honest, I myself think he is right. Fedotov has three or four players in my position who spent the entire last season with him. After returning from a loan, it is more difficult for any player to gain the coach’s trust.
— Do you understand what has prevented you from joining CSKA for so many years? —I always wanted to play. CSKA received offers for me and I chose playing time and training. Everything went well for me and the club was never against letting me go. I see no reason to be offended. The club gave me an opportunity when I was very young: I learned a lot, I grew, in fact I became a professional footballer and I had a great time there. CSKA made me who I am now. The club has always been honest with me and I tried to reciprocate the same.
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— Do you see yourself in CSKA in the future? – Yes, why not? I spent most of my professional career at CSKA and I feel at home there. I will always have a very close connection with the club.
—How did the Baltic option come about? What role did Ignashevich play in this? — I had several offers, but Baltika was very convincing. Ignashevich called me and told me that Baltika needed a player in the midfield. I decided that it was better to try my luck in Kaliningrad, where I could spend a full season. Furthermore, Ignashevich knows me very well and knows my strengths.
BISTROVICH AND IGNASHEVICH
Photo: RIA Novosti
— You and Ignashevich have a unique story. They took the field together and now he is their head coach. — When I first arrived at CSKA, I was surprised by the responsibility with which he took the game and his health. I was surprised to be playing with a 38-year-old man! Even in the last training sessions, Sergei gave 100%. A true example of professionalism. From the first days in the team, Ignashevich treated me like a father, communicated with me and gave me a lot of advice on the field. His professional attitude as a player was completely transferred to his activity as a coach: everything is perfect. Sergei has enormous potential as a coach. I am sure that in the future he will definitely become a coach of big clubs.
It’s funny: I have always had a friendly relationship with Ignashevich, but now it’s even a little awkward, ha ha. After all, he is my head coach. Now, out of respect, I address Sergei only as you.