Update Post: November 30, 2023 2:06 am
Danil Krugovoi has had quite a few positive developments in recent weeks. The birth of a child, 100 games for Zenit, the defender is definitely in a good mood. Yes, I did not receive a call to the national team, where I have not been invited for more than a year. However, this is just additional motivation to work.
In an interview with Championship, Krugovoy spoke about:
the meaning of the anniversary date at Zenit and the father’s dream; international tour of the blue and white for matches in different countries and in the Russian team; Zenit’s second place in the RPL and leadership of Krasnodar; change of position and structure of the team; new contract and option in Europe.
The best moments of three years and a father’s dream.
– The main data from recent weeks is that you played 100 games with Zenit and you are already in 134th place on the list of players with the most games. Isn’t it great? – Certainly. This means a lot to me. And if we take the students, what place will I have?
– Definitely among the first hundred. Maybe even top 50. – Excellent! At first I did not set such goals for myself. It was important to fulfill my father’s dream, who wanted me to play in Zenit’s main team. After all, I went through the entire structure, from the academy to Zenit-2. Then I had to go rent. I think it was the right choice. Then he came back. I fulfilled my dream and now I have 100 games. Big number. Years go by, but statistics remember everything.
– When you first arrived at Zenit in 2020, how did you imagine your career? – I didn’t set any goals for myself. I thought about going step by step. It is clear that playing 100 games is especially enjoyable. But conditionally 99 or 100 does not matter.
– How would you rate these three years? What are the most successful segments? – Probably when I scored two goals in a row. And he became the best player of the month. There he also gave passes. And in general, when I left. I will mention the match against Spartak, in which we won 7:1. I left after Douglas’ injury when the score was 0:0. The emotions were unreal.
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– Was there a moment when you perhaps regretted the choice you made? For example, about the fact that he did not move to CSKA? – No. What should I regret? I am a three-time champion of Russia. Super Bowl winner. Missing glass for a complete collection. There were no thoughts of regret. I fulfilled my father’s dream.
Photo: RIA Novosti
– Davydov’s record is 355 games away. What has to happen for you to achieve such an achievement? – Play. What else is left? Until what age? I don’t even know. Medicine works differently now. Ronaldo is still in action. Thiago Silva too. Also I didn’t have any serious injuries. I only flew to Ufa.
The importance of international matches, the non-call for the Russian team
– Zenit played in Baku during the break. Wouldn’t it have been better to rest more these days, for example? And how interesting are these matches? – Of course, these matches arouse interest. I don’t see the point in having more days off and giving up an experience like that. And so it was for three weekends. After a brief pause, the guard, the first training sessions had already begun. Having a day off is normal. And when there are three, it’s like spending a month without a ball. International meetings are great. Furthermore, now there is a situation where there are few of them. So at least the friendlies are an interesting experience. I had never been to Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan before. But I liked it.
– Zenit is almost the only team that currently plays international matches. Amazing? – Yes a bit. But our leaders are doing everything right: concluding cooperation agreements. This is great.
And the Zenit youngsters were taken to Qatar:
The Zenit youngsters defeated an unusual Chinese team. The match is part of a special strategy.
– Which of your foreign rivals was the most memorable? – The most difficult match was against Sepahan in Iran. Because it has its own atmosphere. Specific weather, field, ball. There they got used to these conditions and looked great. When they came to us, they also didn’t seem to fully understand where they had ended up. I thought that now they would fly the same way as in Iran. But in the end we took everything under control, played the ball and created chances. And in the summer tournament I liked Red Star.
– Has Zenit’s level changed in these two years due to isolation? – I think we maintain a good level. Yes, some players leave, but new ones arrive in their place. The current lineup even started to play differently. Conventionally, when Dzyuba and Rakitsky were there, the game was different. Now it’s more like tiki-taka. Good understanding with our Brazilian legionaries. It is clear that it is far from perfect. And you also have to work on defense. But I think that with the current squad we would fight to get out of the Champions League group.
– With the current one? It seemed like last year would have been closer to this. – Malcolm and Daler left last year. Even before this, we were requesting an exit one way or another. Before, enough was not enough for this.
– It has been a year since you have been called to the national team. – Has it really been a year? It’s scary how quickly time passes.
– Even just over a year. You are now temporarily an outside observer. Are you interested in following the national team? – Of course I want to play for the national team. Any opponent interests me. It is clear that now there are no official matches. It’s sad. But we have what we have.
Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, “Championship”
– There is a feeling that Qatar and Iraq are not so attractive. – We take advantage of the opportunities that exist. I don’t know what’s next. Maybe something will change. In general, my job is to work and prove. And the decision always lies with the coaching staff.
– But why don’t you volunteer now? – Apparently, due to the practice of the game. A year ago there were more. He really wanted to play against Cuba.
– Did you communicate with Karpin after Kyrgyzstan? – No, today there was no topic of conversation.
– Do you feel that the national team is becoming less and less interesting for people? – No. In my environment, no. I myself included matches with Cameroon and Kenya. I was interested to see what the team was like. Furthermore, Cameroon is a famous national team.
– Another topic for experts is the motivation to play for the national team in the current conditions. Do you agree that not everyone has enough? – No. For any player, representing their country is a dream. You work towards this your entire career. I don’t know why they say there is no motivation. I didn’t see anyone answering the number. Karpin is now calling up many new players. They should have enough motivation. To get back on the list.
What is the strength of Krasnodar, Zenit’s progress in the RPL and the change of scheme?
– Now to Zenit. Half of the championship is over. You are the second. Unusual? – Unusual. But he doesn’t pressure me.
– You recently played with Krasnodar. Is this your strongest opponent in the first round? “If they come in first place, they deserve it.” I like his style of play. But I wouldn’t say they played their best game against us. We were very good in the first half. And Motya said it all about the second: “In the end we bounced.” We had enough opportunities to win this match.
Photo: RIA Novosti
– Why are they so great? – Team spirit! I watched the first half from the bench and saw how they acted. Conventionally, a corner was played in our goal, the throw did not work, we intercepted the ball. But before they had time to raise their heads, the entire team went back on the defensive. Discipline, high-level teamwork. Their defense is also good.
– Why wasn’t Zenit as stable as usual in the fall? – Hard to say. We play a lot of games away from home. And we don’t always feel ideal there. Wendell joined a little later. Daler and Malcolm left. It is difficult to get used to it when there is no player who can carry the ball and hit it. Daler did a lot of hard work. We have no replacement for Malcom, we are now trying different schemes to find the right balance.
“In August and September it seemed especially difficult, but then we managed to turn the situation around and restore stability. Because? – I think it was necessary to give the players time to get in shape. And now we look good both in attack and defense. Especially in the last few months. Before that, we conceded a lot and allowed a lot to be created in our goal. Now the situation has changed. They became more confident and calmer.
– Zenit changed its scheme during the season. At some point they played with three centre-backs. When it comes to defending, Mantuan is now falling. And as if this scheme suited him better than four defenders. – We played the last game with three central players. Sergei Bogdanovich adapts the scheme to each opponent. When I arrived it was more difficult for me to play as a four than as a three. I like to perform a high volume, to be closer to the attack. But with four, it took some getting used to. Now I think my performance has improved. And I can play in the top four.
Possible change of position, future at Zenit
– This season you have three games in the RPL, which you started in the main team. You can hardly be satisfied. How to change the situation? – In the last game, Bogdanovic played with me as a right attacking midfielder. I think I can play not only on the left in defense, but also on the right in defense and attack. The coach always said that you have to try. I came to Krasnodar in that role; I think everyone had to think. Maybe my position at Zenit will change a little. Yes, I’m interested too. Especially if I play on this setup more often. There are definitely more possibilities to play on the right in attack than in defense.
How the leaders of the first round finished in the RPL
How did the winners of the first round finish in the RPL? Pleasant numbers for Krasnodar
– Recently, Alexander Medvedev, commenting on the renewal of the contract with Mostov, said that talks on extending the contract with you will soon begin. Apparently we should wait for winter training? – Then, we will wait.
– What is your position regarding the future? – When an offer comes, we will sit down and discuss everything.
– Recently, Andrei Mostovoy said that in the summer he received an offer from France. But he was surprised by the salaries there. Do you think your chances of leaving Zenit for Europe are high? – I think Andrei can go to an important European championship and he will go. But most likely later. Maybe at 30 years old.
– Do you want to try yourself there? – Every footballer has the dream of playing there. I am not an exception.
–Has there been any specific option in recent years? – Yes, there was a specific option. Also, by the way, from France.
– Is this the top of the table? – Right now, by the way, I don’t know. I haven’t opened the spreadsheet in a long time. But there were no serious negotiations.
– If the situation with training does not change, will you consider winter rental options? – In winter we will talk first with the club. And then we will see how and what happens.