Glushakov: I want this fantastic season to get even better
The 30-year-old Spartak Moscow captain
has won the first title of his career
Glushakov is hoping to continue his successful season at the
The midfielder wants Russia "to play from the soul, from
The season just gone will long be remembered by Spartak
Moscow fans as they watched their beloved club win the Russian Premier
League after a 16-year wait. There were many factors behind the long-overdue
triumph - not least the inspirational performances of Red-Whites captain
The midfielder showed unparalleled leadership and made a vital contribution
in front of goal, with each of his eight strikes during the campaign proving
decisive. It is no surprise that Glushakov was voted Footballer of the
Year in Russia.
"I've won the league in my first time finishing in the top three,"
said the Spartak captain in an interview with FIFA.com, unable to keep
from smiling. "I've never celebrated like we did the night after
clinching the title! When the team gathered at the stadium, I jumped for
joy on someone's car and dented the roof slightly."
However, the time for celebrations is over this week as the Russian national
team begin their training camp ahead of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
"I'd like this fantastic season to get even better," said a
On the verge of landmark cap
Glushakov's next appearance for his country will be his 50th and only
three players out of the current crop have played more games for the Sbornaya:
Igor Akinfeev (95), Yuri Zhirkov (72) and Alan Dzagoev (50).
The average age of Russia's squad these days is significantly lower than
at UEFA EURO 2016 and Stanislav Cherchesov, who was appointed head coach
last August, has found the main problem to be a lack of consistency. There
have been 1-0 victories against Ghana and Romania but also damaging defeats
to Qatar (2-1), Costa Rica (4-3) and Cote d'Ivoire (2-0).
"The team hasn't looked convincing in friendlies," Glushakov
admitted, "but there's a reason for that. Essentially, over the past
year we haven't been able to play at full strength once. People have either
been ruled out through injury or haven't been able to recover in time.
As a result, the coach has had to change his line-up constantly."
Nonetheless, the 3-3 draw with Belgium last time out gave some cause for
optimism. "We conceded three goals in the first half but then completely
turned it around near the end, showing character, desire and passion.
Not only did we draw level, but we could have snuck a victory. I think
we need to use the final 20 minutes against Belgium as our starting point."
In Glushakov's view, total dedication and nerves of steel are the keys
to success for this group of players. "This team has a mixture of
fiery youngsters and slightly more experienced heads, who still have a
lot to give," the midfielder continued. "In the near future,
we should see a good, competitive side, but right now we're still in the
rebuilding stage. We don't have a Cristiano Ronaldo or a Lionel Messi,
so we can only achieve something if we play together as a team and show
A special game against Portugal
Glushakov believes that it will be considered a success if Russia make
it to the semi-final at the Tournament of Champions. "If we finish
in the top two of the group, it will give our self-belief a boost,"
said the 30-year-old Spartak man, "but the main thing is putting
in decent performances and playing from the soul, from the heart. In that
case, the supporters will back the team even if the result is poor and
will say, 'These guys gave it their all out there'."
Russia's biggest test of the summer will take place on 21 June when they
play European champions Portugal, and Glushakov is clearly excited the
game is being held at Spartak Stadium.
"It will be a special match for me," he revealed. "It would
be just great if I managed to score against Portugal at my home stadium."
The match against Portugal is already causing quite a buzz in Russia.
"That's understandable because a lot of people want to see Cristiano
Ronaldo in the flesh," Glushakov concluded. "It'd be nice if
there were sell-outs for the games against New Zealand and Mexico too.
After all, this is the first Confederations Cup to be held in our country
and it's an emotional moment. It's very important for us we get the support
from the stands."
23 May 2017