Luciano Spalletti: “We talked about emotions before we played Kazan too”

Zenit`s head coach spoke about motivation before the match with Anderlecht, answered questions about running around with his shirt off at Petrovsky, and talked about the players who can`t play in tomorrow`s match.

– Sorry for being late. There was one place on the way where traffic wasn`t moving at all, – started Luciano Spalletti. – I`m really sorry to everyone for being late to our press conference.

– How difficult was it to find motivation for the players for tomorrow`s match? Or is that not a problem?
– It`s clear that in these situations the players sometimes lose their concentration. But in our work its fundamentally important to always remain professionals. The players who have been recuperating after injuries are ready to play. And we had the same situation before the match with Kazan. And we talked about emotions, about motivation then too. Do you remember? Everything went differently than people expected in that match. And it will be the same way tomorrow.

– Let`s return to Sunday. How`s your health? And how did your relatives react?
– Well, that was a kind of game. We agreed ahead of time that we`d do that. And we kept our promise, our agreement. Every time when I return to Italy people ask me about the cold. Now they`ll all see the photographs and stop asking.

– Your gesture has been the main event of recent days. CSKA`s head coach said he wouldn`t take his shirt off. When did you decide to take your shirts off?
– Sometime in the middle of the season. When we saw that all our fans take their shirts off. That`s a way of celebrating victory with our fans, of being united. Our fans were with us throughout the season, it was hard for them, and we want to thank them.

– How will the match with Anderlecht go? Will that be football, or will the team be cautious?
– Unfortunately, these are the kind of weather conditions that we have to deal with and live with. We have to accept those conditions and fight on the field. But here football is more beautiful – people try to stay on their feet. I think it will be the same tomorrow. I was told that the temperature will be even lower. It`s going to be even harder, because we`re not used to that yet.

– Who is injured for the match?
– Anyukov is healthy again after his injury. Denisov, Kerzhakov, Bystrov, Semak, Fayzulin, and Borodin… we have 24 players in the main side minus the six I mentioned, so there will be 18 players at the match. Zhevnov and Malafeev will be there.

– What do you think about the news that Udinese wants to sell three players to Zenit?
– We don`t usually buy what`s for sale. We buy what we need, and what works for us.

– Could you comment on the information that the coaching staff is looking at Pablo Gonzalez, an Italian-Argentinean player?
– I didn`t hear anything about that (laughs). I can say this: we have to respect those who played this year for Zenit. The guys played an excellent season, and it wouldn`t be correct to talk about who I prefer or not. Will think about what we have to improve when the new season begins. In the 2009 season we finished 10 points behind Rubin, while this year we`re 10 points ahead. That`s thanks to my players.