Published on Friday, 16 January 2015

news 20150116Alexandr CURTEIAN: "Still, we haven’t gained the title of National Heroes of Moldova after a draw in Moscow…"

Interview marathon with famous football specialists (guests of XXIII Commonwealth Cup) is starting with a head coach of national team of Moldova – Alexandr Curteian. We see it logical for two reasons. First of all, the name of young coach (Alexandr is only 40 now – Ed. Com) is known from last October when he managed to earn a draw (1:1) I a game with team Russia within Euro-16 qualifications in Moscow, just at the beginning of his duties. Second, he is not really a guest here, in St. Petersburg – his son and wife are residents of our city, and he lives between his homeland Chișinău (for work) and St. Petersburg (for a family).

– Alexandr, you were watching a starting game of the Cup (Moldova – Kyrgyzstan) very carefully. You've moved from youth team to the national one just recently. Were here any players from «your» Moldova U-21?

Yes, sure. Six of them are from that team. That time they were the youngest ones, now they are playing here with their contemporaries.

– The captain of a national team Dan Spataru who scored the first goal, is he the one who debuted in the main national team of Moldova in Euro-16 qualifications in a game with Liechtenstein?

– Yes, he is. A very talented player, but he needs to work a lot, now he fails to use his gift for a 100% – sometimes not enough running, working on, or sees in a wrong way. The right understanding comes further. Everything is comes further.

curteian 03– We can't skip the sad question concerning loss in a game with Liechtenstein. How were you managed to lose at home after a draw with Russia in guest?

– It may sound weird, but in was easier to play with Russia. We acted from defense as we used to. But the further game we attacked – that is not common and still difficult. Thus we need to work on that. We had no time for that, as I've just gathered the team. Nevertheless, the game with Liechtenstein was «ours», we dominated twice in ball positioning, and we created moments, but failed to realize them. Guests crossed the center of the pitch just twice and managed to score – from the second score the goalkeeper saved us. Unfortunately, players rushed to score, and as we know the rush is a worst enemy.

– Maybe your emotions let you down? After a sensation in Moscow you could have a «higher expectations»?

– They are always higher in Moldova. After a draw in Moscow, as fans say, we could have been Champions of Europe twice, at least (laughs). In general, that is quite normal when fans do believe in a national team. But we were about to prove we can do even more and to achieve more. So I may agree we failed to control emotions.

– Still, the team looked pretty calm in Moscow. Even after missed penalty on 73d minute. You've started from the center, reached Akinfeev, earned a corner kick and scored! An amazing mental stability!

– That is why you shouldn't be surprised. The grounds of our team are players with big experience even in a Russian Premier League. Epurianu, Golovatenko, Armash, Gatskan... curteian 05Nothing can make them surprised in football. So we match experienced players and the young ambitious ones. For example, Arthur Ionize – he plays in Italian A Seria, where there is no Russian football players.

– Was there an emotional meeting in Kishinev after a score in Moscow?

– No, no one gained a title of National Hero of Moldova after a game (smiles). I am joking, of course. To be serious, fans were happy more about earning a draw in guest, not the scores.

– After a Epurianu's goal we were amazed with reaction of cheerful Moldova bench (that is obvious), and your calm face. You smiled, applauded and sit back to the bench. Zenith fans remembered your famous shrug after a vital goal with Rostov on 90th minute on «Petrovsky»...

– (laughs) That's I do remember too. No, that is not typical manner to celebrate. And when Sasha Epurianu scored, my emotions erupted! Still, I have to follow head coach title. And that is not in my rules to show emotions publically.

– You have a difficult situation in a national team. The qualifications to Euro-2016 were started with a different coach – Ion Karas.

– Yes, you are right. That was difficult. The previous coach gave a specific style, and I see football in a different way. And that is impossible to change the situation when you are joining 3 days before the game. So I enjoyed the good parts in a game with Austria even if we have lost 1:2. Earning a bad score with Liechtenstein I satisfied with a quality of the game. Now we have time to work on issues.

– What are the further plans of Moldova team?

curteian 04– We will play two friendly matches in Turkey – on 14th of February with Romania, on 18th of February with Kazakhstan. The further game within Euro-16 qualifications preparation we have with Sweden on 27th of March, with Sweden.

– May anyone from this youth team participate to the wide list of your national team?

– That is hard to say. On the one hand, St. Petersburg tournament is a great opportunity for young players to show themselves. On the other – they are too young. Still, potentially, that is the best team for several years out of «youth» teams of Moldova. Perhaps, it may become even better that the team I worked with (in qualifications Euro-15 Curtenian's team earned 16 points within 10 matches – Ed. Com.). The most important now is to create a team work as fast as we can and to learn listen and to hear the coach.

– It means that Igor Ursaki is debuting as a tutor of «youth team» of Moldova?

– Yes, he was announced as a vice-coach right before the Commonwealth Cup. We even had no time to discuss working moments. Let's say, Pushka's team participating in Granatkin Memorial here plays the same scheme that main national team of Moldova does. We see it the same. But I will never insist on that particular scheme.

– Do you follow this Championship of Moldova?curteian 01

– Unfortunately there is no good news there. During the Championship two teams dismissed, one of them – «Veris» – should have lead there. The reason is money. Federation of Football and national team are depend on clubs to success. And if national team football players are in search of playing practice and earn – that is tragically.

– Nothing is changing. I have a beautiful wife for 20 years, a son playing football. I spend a lot of time in Moldova, do train national team and analyze matches of the national Championship. But as I have an opportunity I come to St. Petersburg.

Interviewed by Alexander Kuzmin.


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