Luciano Spalletti: “My team always stands out”

Zenit`s coach spoke about the quality of the football his team played, about aesthetic pleasure, and preparations for the match in Athens after beating Anderlecht.

– It was a high-quality match, - noted Spalletti. – Despite the difficulties that the temperature could cause the two teams, my guys controlled the ball very well, and showed good skills. Besides scoring three goals we made a lot of other chances as well. We were ready to fight, to run, and we didn`t give up. I don`t think I can ask for anything more for them.

– You were lucky this year, you played in record high temperatures and record low ones. When was it harder to play?
– It`s always good to get new experience. The most important thing is that the team have the right train of thought, so that it stands out no matter what the conditions are during the match. From that point of view my team always stands out, and I`m really satisfied with that.

– Did you get aesthetic pleasure from today`s match with Zenit?
– Yes, like I already said, we played a very high-quality match, and showed good, fast football. Of course there were moments when we held onto the ball too long, where we should have given it up faster. And there were moments when we were too relaxed, and didn`t always fight for the ball. But besides these small episodes, the match was almost perfect. The players who don`t play very often showed their qualities and readiness for the match.

– You`re going to have a break now. How will you get the team ready for the next match? Do you have a special recipe? Or will the next match also be a new experience?
– My recipe for the match is not the most important thing. Most important is our mental toughness, our ability to keep ourselves in good form while we relax. We`ll have seven practices before the match with AEK, and that`s enough to play a good match.

–Congratulations on your victory. You`re becoming a trend-setter in St. Petersburg. First you showed you went topless through the stadium, now you wore a Zenit Crazy Fans scarf…. Did that help the team win?
– I put on the scarf because it was colder today than usual (applause in the room). I did what I did on Sunday because that`s what the fans do. I never saw before how the fans celebrate in such cold temperatures. Like I said, I promised that I would do the same. I liked it a lot, and I think I`ll do it again soon.