Anton Zabolotny: I came back home
The first interview of the PFC CSKA alumnus after returning to the club.
— Anton, have you moved to a new club or have you come back home?
— I think «come back home» is more appropriate. Why? It comes from childhood, I am an Army Man since I was eleven years old, it turns out that my football life began in PFC CSKA. As soon as Roman Babayev contacted me (with a contract offer — Ed.), there were no other chances left, only to come back. My dream has come true, I've wanted it for a long time. Therefore, the phrase «I came back home» is the most appropriate.
— Did not it take too long for you to decide?
— Of course, there were conversations, club's wishes. For me, as a football player, it was important that the head coach was interested in me, that he knew how I play. So, the formalities were settled in a matter of days.
— Did you communicate personally with Ivica Olic?
— Not yet, but Roman Yurievich expressed his thoughts, we discussed club's wishes and tasks for the upcoming seasons.
— There is an opinion that you have a grudge against PFC CSKA, because you were not given a chance at the time.
— (Surprised) No, that's not true. I was young and was not ready for the main team at that time. Perhaps PFC CSKA did the right thing by letting me go. I've been gaining experience and now is the moment when I'm ready to strengthen the Army Men's club.
— Was there an option to return to PFC CSKA earlier when you were «on your own»?
— No, there was not, because my way was with high ups and very low falls (smiles). The most important thing is that I managed to return to my club, I want to finally make my debut. I didn't have a chance to play for the main team before leaving PFC CSKA.
— What is the most vivid impression of the period you spent in the team?
— The game against Besiktas when we won and made it to the 1/8 Champions League. Then we reached the 1/4 finals and set the bar for our club. This is the most memorable team moment.
— Did any of the Army Men's guys write you before the transfer?
— Most of all the guys born in 1991, with whom I played in the Children and Youth Sports School. They asked if it was true or not. They did not congratulate me beforehand, but it was an exciting moment, they were waiting for confirmation, so that PFC CSKA announced everything.
— You said once in an interview, that it was difficult for you to cope with the attention to your person, with criticism. How is it now?
— Everything has changed fundamentally, I was not so experienced in this question at that time. I reacted to some statements of experts and coaches. I believe that people hate the strong. There is no great player who is not hated. This is part of the profession, football, work, you need to accept it.
— Is a flip at the VEB Arena planned as a celebration of the first goal?
— Will you celebrate goals against former teams? You did not celebrate your goal to Zenit, while playing for Sochi…
— When you spend some time in the club, get a lot of positive emotions, win and lose with it, some part remains there. I have a positive attitude towards fans of various teams, this is their world, it must be respected. I will not celebrate goals against the clubs I played for. Of course, in the game you cannot restrain yourself sometimes. But the respect for the fans of the teams I've played for is there.
— How many goals do you think you will score next season? More or less than seven?
— More. I'll bet you.
— What goals do you set for yourself?
— Globally — to bring PFC CSKA to the high level, which has always been there. I see that this team is very promising, I want to be with it, work with it and be involved in the success in the future. I dream that we will return the championship cup to our club.