Matias Kranevitter: "It's a pity that Argentina won't stay in St. Petersburg, Zenit have an amazing base"

The Zenit midfielder gave an interview about his time at the River Plate boarding school, the pre-season training camp and the Russian championship.
Матиас Краневиттер: «Жаль, что Аргентина будет жить не в Петербурге — у „Зенита“ потрясающая база»
On the River Plate boarding school

The competition was incredible, there were up to one hundred people going after each place, but there was almost no fighting, we lived in peace, and I have the warmest memories of that time. I lived in the boarding school for 5 years and made a lot of friends there, those that stay with you for life. We were all away from our families and all felt homesick. I remember how, at the age of 19, when I started playing for the River in the first division and did not live at the boarding school anymore, I often visited my friends there and went to the bakery to buy cakes for them as we weren't allowed them there. I took a couple of dozen croissants, and I saw a friend, he said "Hey, what are you going to do with all this? You won't be able to run on Sunday if you eat this! "I replied:" It's for the guys from the school."

On training on crutches

I'm not a player running around the pitch with the ball! I was very unlucky to get injured. It was during the best period of my career at River when I was 21 or 22, fracturing my metatarsal bone in my right foot. I was out for three or four months and on the eve of the 1/8 finals of the Copa Sudamericana. I was out injured for about 70 days, for first 20, I could not do anything at all, even step on the foot. I was sent from Buenos Aires to Tucuman to spend time with my family at home. I had to work very hard to recover, the rehabilitation was intensive and I was ahead of schedule,  a week later I went back to the capital, because at home I was bored looking at the four walls.

The doctor at the club gave me crutches, and every day I limped from the gym to the treadmill and then around the pitch, where I would do laps and then walk back. Then, when I was able to stand a little bit of my right leg, I went out with only one crutch. Little by little the pain went, I started training and rejoined the squad, 60 days after the fracture I was back in full training.I was then able to pay a couple of matches and it felt incredible. 

On training with Mancini and Simeone

They are very similar. The most difficult pre-season I've had was in Argentina, that's where you're completely exhausted. For days we only ran there, the training lasted longer, over 20 days, every training session was very hard. 

On his relationships with the other Zenit players 

I communicate a lot with Kokorin and Kuzyaev - with Dahler we have lockers next to each other in the dressing room, I often chat with Smolnikov and Zhirkov too. There is a great atmosphere at the club and we try to find common themes, although we do not always understand each other's language. 

On the Russian championship

In the Russian Football Premier League there is a lot of competition among the top teams. There are a lot of strong clubs in the Russian league, CSKA and Spartak, who played in the Champions League, and now are in the European League. We are a little bit behind the leaders Lokomotiv Moscow, but we have 10 matches ahead of us and we will give everything to finish the championship in first place. 

On the World Cup

There are three or four months to go and now I need to give my all in every match for Zenit, because I know that the coaching staff are closely watching all of us, you have to always have a good game to get in the team. In autumn, for the first time in a long time, I was again called up to the national team and I would like to make that a permanent thing. It is a pity that Argentina will not stay in St. Petersburg, the Zenit training base is amazing, there is everything you need there for training.