What qualities helped you become the Russian Player of the Year in 2007?
At that time I was already 30 years old and was an experienced player, so I was not afraid of anything. I had courage, a strong character and of course, that experience I’d gained over the years. Secondly, I had great teammates around me in that Zenit team. All that helped me become the Russian Player of the Year in 2007.
Whose technical abilities did you admire and learn from in the game?
I’ve only one answer. I watched, watched and continue to watch lots of matches from Russia, Europe and the World Cup. Every time I watched a match, I would look for a player in my position and carefully focus and study his movement, analyse what he did and think about what I would have done in that situation. I then tried to bring in some of those techniques and plays into my game.
What personal qualities are important for you in a footballer?
First of all, it's honesty. Honesty in relation to football, to his teammates, because football cannot be fooled. Secondly, maybe it’s not a quality, but it’s the love of the game. There must be a love of football, always. The player must be over the moon to come to training every day, love seeing his teammates, enjoy every touch of the ball. I think that's all!