Milos Krasic is one of the main symbols of the “golden” CSKA Valery Gazzaev. The Serbian midfielder took part in the new version of the 2002 “golden” match with Lokomotiv and the next day gave an interview to the Championship.
“Moscow has become even more beautiful”
— Without hesitation, did you agree to participate in the retro match? – Yes. As soon as the RFU called me, I immediately said that I would be happy to attend this game. I was happy to play in a game like that.
—How often have you been to Moscow lately? — Three or four years ago I came to Moscow with my wife and walked around the city. I would fly more often, but we have three children. Otherwise, I will always be happy to return to Russia; After all, I lived and played here for six years.
— Has Moscow changed during the years of your absence? – Of course, it has changed. Not so much, but it is noticeable. I didn’t have time to walk much; I went directly to the stadium. But it is clear that the city has become more beautiful. Moscow deserves to be like this.
— During the match, the army fans’ stands were almost full. Do you miss this environment? – Of course I miss you! Thanks to the fans for coming to the game. There were many of them in such cold weather. It was wonderful! Thank you for your support yesterday and for all the time I played for CSKA, you were always at the stadium.
Photo: Alexander Safonov, “Championship”
“Akinfeev will play for a long time, like Buffon. Maybe even more”
—Was it difficult to last the entire game on the field? — There were moments when it felt easy and sometimes it was very difficult. I can play soccer once or twice a month, but I don’t run. I’ll be honest (laughs).
—How did Valeri Gazzaev evaluate his preparation? — I was joking about our physical shape. The most important thing is that Valery Georgievich was glad to see us. Each of the players had a great time under his direction. We talk about families, who does what now. And, of course, we talked a little about the game: to play seriously, so that there were no injuries. Everything went well.
This is how it went:
Loskov repeated his legendary goal with CSKA! Semin again won the “golden” match against Gazzaev
—How do you remember Gazzaev? “I remember him as a person with a strong character and the ability to motivate. He is a great coach. I came to CSKA very young and Valery Georgievich taught me not only football, but also life. I heard very good and important words from him.
—Is this the most important coach of your career? – Certainly. Gazzaev is the number one coach for me! He knows a lot and not only helped me, but also other young players. When I grew up a little, I was already 21-22 years old, his advice was very useful to me.
Photo: RIA Novosti
— Did you manage to communicate with Igor Akinfeev? – Naturally, because he was with us in the locker room. It was nice to see you. The last time we saw each other was four years ago. After the match between CSKA and Krylya Sovetov, I managed to get into the locker room and talk to Igor.
— When you arrived at CSKA, Akinfeev was already on the team. Do you remember your first impression of him? “It was immediately evident that he was a promising young goalkeeper. At first we thought that Igor was not tall enough to be a goalkeeper, but he had a very good reaction and a powerful jump. When a person remains the number one goalkeeper of the club and the national team for 10 or 20 years, what can you say? He is a legend. I think he will continue in goal until he is 40-42-43 years old. Like Buffon! Or maybe more. I would like Akinfeev to play more time than Buffon. He has been very good in recent years and CSKA has many young players who need the help of an experienced teacher like Igor Akinfeev.
— Can you believe that the person who played before you for CSKA is still at the club and maintains the highest level? – Of course, this is a bit surprising. But judging by his attitude toward training and life, one might assume he would play for a long time.
Krasic also left a bright mark on the history of the RPL:
100 best foreign players of the Russian championship. Seats from 20 to 11
“I will remember the victory in the UEFA Cup all my life”
— When you came to CSKA from Serbia, did you understand what kind of club it was, what size and traditions it had? — I knew Russian teams: CSKA, Spartak, Zenit. When the offer from CSKA came, I spoke with my family, with my father. I thought it was a good option for me: a legendary club with big ambitions. When the contract was signed I was very satisfied.
—And the following year we won the UEFA Cup with the team! What did this mean for such a young footballer? — I came to CSKA when I was 19 years old and a year later we won a big trophy. It was incredible for me. Although I quickly realized that I was on a great team and with a good coach. Not only did we play very well together, but we were also friends. Captain Semak was our leader. And what a team they were! Yaroshik, Zhirkov, legendary Brazilians. There was a very comfortable atmosphere in the team, although we worked hard and a lot. But thanks to this they finally won the UEFA Cup.
—How did you reach this victory? Did you think it was possible? “We played each game with faith in ourselves, with the conviction that we could reach the final of a tournament like this. Of course, it was very difficult, but we felt that we were capable of doing it. And in the end they won.
—With what emotions did you, still very young, enter Lisbon as a substitute? – It was a great match: the final. Incredibly vivid emotions that I will remember all my life. We won and I managed to play for about 20 minutes. That night I experienced incredible and fantastic emotions! I was shocked. I never thought I could achieve this before. For me, as a young player, this victory was very important. She gave us all confidence and motivation to work even harder and play better.
— After that, he spent another five years at CSKA. What was the best period after the UEFA Cup? — Most likely it will be the 2008/2009 season. So we played well in the Champions League, there were very interesting matches. Personally, this is the best year for me: I have gained more experience, you could say, I have become a serious footballer. I scored and assisted a lot in the Russian Championship and the Champions League. But CSKA always has the greatest ambitions: to be champions and achieve good results in European competitions. And in 2009 we only ranked fifth. The year was not the best for the club and that is why I did not feel as satisfied and happy as I could have been. You always have to fight for the club so that it achieves its objectives and wins. If CSKA does not take the trophy or the medals, the season cannot be good.
Photo: from the personal archive of Veniamin Mandrykin.
— Your most important goal for CSKA? — In the Champions League I scored against Wolfsburg and Besiktas. When they beat Spartak 5-1, I also scored, and it was a very important goal. In general, each goal brings good emotions.
– And the most beautiful? —Probably only for Wolfsburg. I hit it from 20 yards and it turned out great.
-How does it feel to score against Manchester United at Old Trafford? – Yes, not everyone can do this. When you score against teams like that, you always feel happy. It is not always possible to play the Champions League against these clubs, but when you do, it is useful for any footballer. By competing with stars like this, you will better understand your own value. I was lucky in this regard.
“Zdelar and Gaich are happy in Russia, at CSKA”
— In which year did CSKA have the most powerful team? — Of course, in 2005, when we won the UEFA Cup. It was a very good team. But even then there were wonderful performances. With Leonid Slutsky we had a good year, even in the Champions League. Europe saw that CSKA has excellent footballers.
—Is the current team far from what it was in 2005? – Well, not very far, but we had an incredibly good team. Now in CSKA there are many quite young guys who should have more experience and be better. I wish the team and the players good luck. I wish that they catch up with us, that they too are lucky enough to participate in the same great games.
—To what extent do you follow CSKA now? — Not always, but I read about CSKA in the news and I find out how they played. If there is any broadcast in Serbia, I watch it.
Photo: Epsilon/Getty Images
—And what do you think of the latest results? — CSKA always has great ambitions. I saw that the team is now in fifth place. There will be a fight, the second round is ahead. CSKA has a good team, we have to fight until the end.
—What is the army team missing now to fight for gold? “We need to try harder and fight until the end.” Of course, CSKA has great players, but other teams are also performing well.
— This summer, CSKA won the long-awaited trophy – the Russian Cup. Did you see the final match? – Of course, I am aware of this success, but I could not watch the match. I’m always happy when CSKA wins trophies!
—What do you think of your compatriots from the modern team, Milan Gaich and Sasha Zdelar? “I’m glad they play constantly and the coach trusts them.” They performed well. It’s great that Milan and Sasha are now at CSKA. I think they will help the team for a long time.
Igor Akinfeev and Milan Gaich
Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, “Championship”
—Have you personally communicated with them? — We haven’t been able to talk to Milan yet, but we talked to Sasha, yes. I asked him how things were going in Russia. Sasha says that everything is fantastic, they feel good both in the club and in Moscow. They are happy here. I like the way they play, but they can do better. And I have no doubt that they will.
— While playing for CSKA, he was recognized as player of the year in Serbia. Why don’t Zdelar and Gaich even make it to the national team now? — This also depends on the coach and the form of the current national team players. But CSKA is a big club and he will definitely have a chance in the Serbian national team. Zdelar has been there a couple of times. We have to try to play well every game. Any national team coach, if he sees a player in good shape, will call him.
– The Serbian team of your time and now, which is stronger? —When I played for the national team there were players who were a little more experienced and of higher class. For example, Vidic. We played very well in qualifying for the World Cup. But even now there are great players in the national team: Tadic, Mitrovic, Milinkovic-Savic. They also played very well at the world championships in Russia and Qatar. Serbia is a small country, we do not have a large number of footballers. However, there are many Serbs who play in Europe and do well. And in the selection you have to give your best in a short time. And it is not easy for a coach to choose the optimal system and tactics.
—Who is the best Serbian legionnaire in CSKA history? – I can’t say who is the best. Both Tosic and I had a very good time. I hope things between Gaich and Zdelar work out. Predrag Randjelovic also played for CSKA. He also had a very good season.
Photo: Artyom Gusev, “Championship”
— Are the current Serbian footballers in the RPL much shorter than the class of Krasic, Tosic, Vidic? — I can’t agree 100%. Maybe at that time the best Serbian players came to Russia, but I won’t say that for many. Čumić and Randjelovic are very good players. Chumich is simply a great footballer. Maybe he will soon leave for one of the best teams in Russia. I know him, he’s a very fast guy. I think he is already among the top ten players in the RPL.
— Is it time to go to CSKA? — He definitely has enough class to play for CSKA.
— Are you following the Serbian market closely? Maybe you can recommend CSKA as an unpromoted talent? — Serbia has always had enough young and talented players. I don’t know their surnames, but now there are those who could play in big Russian clubs. Maybe not immediately at the base, but to develop quickly and well.
“I was a young player, why not pass on my experience to the same players today?”
—What do you do after finishing your degree? — Now I’m resting, I don’t work anywhere. I don’t have any position. I don’t know what will happen in a year, two or three. Maybe I work somewhere. It will definitely be close to the field. I will 100% go to study to become a trainer. I was a young player, why not pass on my experience to him now?
— Could you really enter Olic’s CSKA headquarters in 2021? —There was nothing specific. People saw Olic as a coach and immediately started writing that I would be there, Rakhimic.
— Why do you think Ivica was not successful at CSKA? — Unfortunately, Olic did not work for long. He is young, at that time he had just finished his studies. He took time. And in a big club everyone expects victories from the coach. I’m sorry things haven’t gone well for you at CSKA. Ivica is a very good person, he had a crazy career. If he continues as a coach, I’m sure he will achieve it. Maybe he will return to CSKA.
– Final. What would the current CSKA like? – Play well, win medals and trophies!