One of the big names today of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, which holds the vest with only one, is without question Yuri Lodygin. Born in Vladimir by a Russian father and a Greek mother, he came to Greece in 2000 at the age of 10 years (born on 26.05.1990). Little Yuri, then in less than two years was able to quickly learn the Greek language and almost immediately the «sleuths» Xanthi he was discovered.
The Xanthi Youth team in the summer of 2008 gave a series of friendly in Germany and the young Yuri against a Fenerbahce, Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlín, the best goalkeeper of the tournament was named. Thus in June 2009 the administration of Xanthi offered him a professional contract. In 2010 he went on loan to Eordaikos where a year left and gained new experiences (25 games). He returned to Xanthi and almost immediately became the principal of the goalkeeper, and was invited by Fernando Santos in national men but not used. Earlier it should be noted had fought six times the national hopes of Greece.
But Lodygin who had the right to choose because dual citizenship in what national wishes to fight, then he preferred that of Russia, perhaps because he saw that there is a greater future and will develop more quickly and perhaps not had unfair. Shortly after the then federal Russian, Italian, Fabio Capello called him to national and even included in the mission of the team that went to the Brazil World Cup in 2014.
Lodyigin, meanwhile the summer of 2013 (August 24) was transcribed from Xanthi to FC Zenit Saint Petersburg for the amount of 1 mil. Which is watched closely by using the people. Then saw the «hounds of ´that this young goalkeeper in front of a great future. It has a surprising jump that allows him to win the ball in front of several higher and aggressive, and his reflexes are superb. Its development thereafter is rapid. Near the then coach, Italian, Luciano Spalletti learned quite slowly and was able to win the vest with the number 1, which holds the value.
Ladies and gentlemen, Yuri Lodygin, a great goalkeeper who steals the show in the Russian championship and wants to reach as high as possible, spoke exclusively to Discoveryfootball.com for everyone and everything!
DF: And this year naturally aim of Zenit winning the championship?
R/: «Of course. It remains our primary goal to claim the title as is the case in recent years. Can this time we are 6 points from the leader, but Rostov will try with all our power to give our best. In Russia the championship is extremely difficult. There are the traditional powers such as Spartak Moscow is a quite considerable rival, CSKA but also other groups. Dynamo, is not at its best, the contrary is the Rostov, the Lokomotiv and Krasnodar with us forever. No team here to get away from the start and go train to winning the title. I even think that this year´s championship is the most unpredictable in recent years».
DF: You Zenit in 2013 after your acquisition of Xanthi. How to judge the progress of your new team during this time?
R/: «In the three years that I´m in Zenit is that we have shown a significant increase. The first season we lost the title in the last 2 to 3 games perform well. Next we succeeded and we won the title and now we try again the best. »
Stopping the winter plays a role
DF: What affects the Russian groups and can hardly compete with the other European?
R/: «Certainly the interruption due to the severe winter weather plays an important role. It is not easy as many friendly though give a team the players to find the right rhythm. There should be official games through these to find the necessary solutions. Otherwise there is no difference between the other European groups with those of Russia. There is speed, tactics and a lot of work».
DF: That you believe that weather conditions are particularly difficult in Russia in the winter season play their role…
R/: «Yes, because there are definitely good players. But the weather as if the turf used in many fields and the latest technology cannot replace the natural grass. Of course there will always and factor excuse. But when you play you have to know that and that´s part of the game».
DF: By changing the coaching staff that left the Spalletti and got the Villas Boas how the situation changed?
R/: «With Spaletti; Zenit, went very well. After that came the Portuguese, Villas Boas, at first was naturally not changed much. After slowly began to make the changes he felt that it would be for the good of the team. Villas Boas wants his team to play faster, with counterattacks and exert intense pressing. In the Champions League we went quite well, but then we were unlucky as against Benfica we failed to score especially in the first game in Lisbon. And since we could not get to the goal in the second game came finally exclusion. The rate of absence I was saying earlier because of the league shut played its part. »
Easily Bayern and Real more difficult for Barça
DF: Now we face the quarterfinals of the Champions League that you see couples who were drawn?
R/: «The Barcelona is a great team has a lead against Atletico and because of Messi. But because I know very well Atletico we faced a few years ago I must say that there is a group that arms will readily testify. It has a brilliant technician and the Simeone one gritty team that knows how to fight from the first to the last minute. He wants that much attention. Bayern will pass very easily against Benfica, maybe even win both times, home and away. Wolfsburg – Real Madrid couple wants a certain caution as the German team has shown that it is quick and disciplined. It will seek the best in the headquarters, but the Bernabéu has no luck. After 50- 50 is the other game between PSG and Manchester City. Of course I wish to pass Ibrahimović I like already».
DF: In the summer we have the final round of the European Championship stadiums in France. Russia What do you think can succeed?
R/: «There was a big change in the national team with the arrival of Slutsky . The Russians love him and that is great gain. Has managed to present a calm to the team and a «slack» does not prevent the player to unfold his talent. Then there is no longer translator as everyone understands immediately what their calls. The changing rooms are very good and the preparation of the best».
DF: What awaits the national Russia?
R/: «I look calm my chance. I try every game to present my best and I´m ready to face the difficulties of any race. It does not help me to do then do such thoughts. »
Failure of Greece
DF: The National Greece one of the favorites of the group, it will not be present in the final. What do you think went wrong?
R/: «Many things. There was a lot of pressure on the team. From the world by reporters. But it was expected. It is logical after such a great success as the conquest of the European Championship of 2004 to ask more people. He wants to be the stronger team. And what happened will make stronger believe national Greece».
DF: In 2018, Russia will host the final stage of the World Cup, how are things?
R/: «It is still very far away. As host Russia wants to appear strong and play an important role. He wants to make good progress in organizing. From an organizational point of view, the infrastructure, the stadiums both in Kazan, in Krasnodar, or anywhere will be racing is perhaps the best that was done in Europe»
DF: And in 2022 to be hosted in Qatar, will be just as impressive?
R/: » I´m sure. Because in recent years we prepare to Zenit there, I see them below. People work 24 hours in 24 hours. They have three shifts and work without interruptions. »
DF: Talent is Russia today?
R/: «Talents always existed there. Most play in the second national teams since the competition in the European Cup is intense and the teams must be reinforced. We have talented Shatov, Sheydaev , Kokorin and Spartak in Davydov. But here in Russia prevail sport. In all sports, whether it is football or basketball, or hockey»
DF: Do you agree that the President Putin´s decision to reduce the number of foreigners in order to give greater weight to native players?
R/: «Of course. Be given longer time to participate in new talent to show their capabilities which will help the national team. We need physical and experience but together they will present a stronger Russia. »
DF: Messi is the top player in the world at least the last 10 years?
R/: «Every fan likes to see players like Messi doing extraordinary things or Ronaldo who scored unfailingly. They are players who make the difference in each team»