Baku. 7 January. REPORT.AZ/ In early December, the Azerbaijani team gained a new coach. Vacancy of the team's coach entrusted to Robert Prosinecki after the resignation of Berti Vogts. A month later, the legendary former midfielder met with UEFA.com, to share his thoughts on his appointment and plans for the future. Report presents his interview to readers:
- How did you meet the New Year? Did you manage to rest and gain strength?
- I was in Baku till 22 December, then went to Zagreb, where I met year 2015 with my family and relatives. Holidays have been a lot of fun, so I provided a positive charge.
- Please tell us more about your appointment. You also to be called to the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Why did you choose to come to Azerbaijan?
- I met in Paris with the Secretary General of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) Elkhan Mammadov. We talked for the first time and the meeting was very interesting. Some time later we met again, and then talked specifically. A version with Bosnia appeared later. I decided to give preference to Azerbaijan, as local ideas seemed to me more attractive.
This is a real project in the broadest sense of the word. I see a bright future. In Azerbaijan, it is possible and there is a lot of work, and for this there are all conditions. Yes, Bosnia now has good players leading the championships, but the prospect of working with the Azerbaijani team impressed me more.
The point here is not about the money, as many may think. Generally, in football everything is measured in money. There are things much more important. And, of course, the role played by the fact that the Azerbaijanis have contacted me earlier Bosnians.
- What are the challenges you set, and what progress you are hoping for?
- First of all, I should note that, in four matches UEFA EURO-2016 the national team did not score any points, because the players are not in the best mental state. The main aim at the moment is precisely to correct this factor. It is too necessary to educate footballers at psychology of winners and make them believe in themselves.
Generally, we want to complete the qualification, up in the standings as high as possible. Yes, it will be difficult to achieve, but we have young people with great potential. After signing the contract, I could see a lot of players, and among them there was enough of those who caught my attention. I don't want to give their names, but I believe in these guys and I hope for them. In short, we have a lot of work to do.
Global task as well is training to the next qualification. We need to establish a competitive team that will be able to fight on equal terms with the football leaders.
- Can we expect from a football team another performance differ from the period of Berti Vogts? You have repeatedly stated that, you prefer attack style, but will there be enough for team good class act in this way?
- Let's start with the fact that defend in football is much easier than to attack. As for the changes, they will be made absolutely. Moreover, as well in the game system, and composition of the team they will be. We have the capacity to do things differently, so that more and more efficiently attack. Footballers can not just run forward, but also to show the beautiful game. Of course, this is not easy, but we will work on this.
- What can you tell us about the football infrastructure in Azerbaijan?
- Infrastructure is very good. Construction of new stadiums and other sports facilities is going on. See everything with my own eyes, and I think it will benefit the country entirely. There are available all conditions to play football, as well to do it well.
- What is your opinion about the level of the Azerbaijan's national championship?
- The level of the championship is quite high. Premier League runs interesting. There are three or four very good teams. Take, for example, "Karabakh", which stood on the verge of leaving the group UEFA Europe League. As part of the club there are strongest foreign players with high level. At the same time, Agdam club players are the brazilians Reinaldo Silva and Richard Almeida. Playing together with such masters, local players will become stronger and more experienced.
In general, the current limit on foreign players, in which a part of every major league team must play at least five local players, two of whom are not over 21 years, I really like. It is important that the six foreign players, gets a place on the field level were higher than local players. The higher the level, the faster will grow and strengthen local.
- What can you say about Azerbaijan as a whole?
- I really like Azerbaijan and its capital. Baku is a beautiful city with great architecture. It develops at a frantic pace and moves only forward and upward. Great factor of my attitude towards this country is that I moved here with my family. Daughters will be educated in Baku schools.
It has everything you need for a good life. As to whether my expectations were justified, then, to be honest, I did not even think about that and how it will. I knew, of course, about Azerbaijan, thanks to God, there is a global network where information can be found on almost every corner of the Earth. The first thing looked photos and videos about Baku.
- A significant part of the game you've spent a career in Yugoslavia and Spain. What gave you the football schools in these countries?
- I consider myself very lucky, because I was lucky enough to play in the three great clubs. This is the "Barcelona", "Real" and "Crvena Zvezda". Of course, the name of the third team in this list will seem strange, but this team once won the European Cup, although today this is impossible even to imagine. I think Spain is allocated by the fact that there is a very strong league and almost every game fans will fill stadiums.
- You played for Yugoslavia and Croatia. What moments with them to become the brightest for you?
- I consider particularly important that managed to play in three World Cups: in Italy, France, and Japan and South Korea. In the 90's, I remember, we lost in the quarterfinals of Argentina played by the great Diego Maradona. Gave way to the South Americans in a penalty shootout. In general, the generation of Yugoslavia players were very strong, but the Argentines were not weak.
In the 98's happened quite a shock when the team small Balkan country with a population of slightly more than four million people almost reached the final. Then we lost in the semifinals of the French masters. For our country, this event was something grand, the whole world was talking about us. It was truly a great achievement.