Mateo Cassierra: “This season I plan to achieve even more”

The new Zenit forward answered questions from media during his presentation at Zenit Arena club store.

Mateo Cassierra: “This season I plan to achieve even more”

Mateo, you moved to St. Petersburg from Sochi. Where are the best beaches, in Sochi or in St. Petersburg?

“I think both of the cities have good beaches. I wouldn’t say which city is better than the other.”

You joined the team a week ago. How physically ready are you now? How much time do you think you need to reach your peak fitness level?

“Actually, it hasn’t been a whole week yet, to be exact, seven days have not passed. Though generally I feel better every day, and I feel almost ready for the start of the new season. Of course, I still have to work on a lot of things, and I can’t say that I’m fully ready, but I feel that I will be very soon. I put my all into the work process and can’t wait for the official matches to start.”

The match with Spartak is ahead. Do you know that Spartak is Zenit’s main rival?

“Of course I do. I know that Spartak is one of our main rivals and matches against the Moscow team is like El Clásico for Russian football. It’s very important to be fully prepared and to be in the best shape possible for the Saturday match.”

It’s not very common for a player to score for the club before his presentation. Will that give you more confidence for the upcoming season?

“It certainly will give me more confidence. I think last year was successful for me, and this season I plan to achieve even more. I want to be always ready for anything the manager might ask for.”

You said that you needed to get ready for the upcoming season. Do you have any personal rituals aside from training, like running in the mornings, doing some light exercises, drinking two eggs at the start of the day or something like that?

“I don’t have anything special in addition to the training process. I’m just trying to do my best every training session. I play for a big club now, and we have a great coaching staff who help us to get ready for the matches. I plan to keep giving my all and to be as ready for the start of the season as possible.”

Mateo, you will wear number 30 on your shirt. Does it mean anything to you or did you just choose one of the vacant numbers?

“I just like this number. When I played with this number in Belenenses in Portugal and in Sochi, I felt great, and everything was coming along nicely for me. Also I happened to sign the contract with Zenit on 30 June. I’ve been associated with this number for a long time, I feel good with it, and I plan on playing for Zenit wearing this number for a long time.”

After FIFA’s decision regarding contract suspension, many foreign players left Russia and the league. You probably had contract offers from other countries, but you stayed in the Russian Premier Liga. Why?

“I had a few reasons. The first and the main one was that Zenit got interested in me. I really wanted to test myself in a top team. Secondly, I talked to Wílmar Barrios, and his words convinced me even more that I needed to make this step and accept the offer. I want to continue the club’s great traditions and win many trophies. Also I know the Russian Premier Liga well, last year taught me a lot, and I wanted to keep playing in a league where I feel comfortable.”

Yesterday a senior Zenit representative said that your former teammate Rodrigão is going to join the club. Are you happy about it? Have you talked to him?

“Yes, we had a chance to talk a few days ago. Of course, he is very motivated and inspired by the possibility of joining Zenit. Actually, it’s pretty easy to make a decision when there’s a chance to end up in the club from St. Petersburg. If everything goes successfully, I will certainly be glad to see him here, because last year we played for Sochi together, and now there is a chance for us to play for Zenit. It’s very good news.”

You’ve been living in Russia for a year now. How is the process of learning the language going for you? Do you maybe know enough words to say hello to Zenit fans in Russian?

“I haven’t had a chance to learn a lot, but I know some words. When you hear them every day, you memorize some things, so generally speaking I can’t say that I don’t know the language at all. My favorite word is khorosho (good).”