A detailed interview from FC Rubin new signing Ivelin Popov where he tells about himself, his decision to move from Moscow to Kazan and his adaptation in the new team
-Ivelin, how do you find Kazan?
-It’s a new city with a nice river. A beautiful city with history. Good traffic, almost no traffic jams (smiles), not like in Moscow. You may be stuck in a traffic jam for an hour or two. I guess no one likes it, not only me.
-You speak Russian really well. Did you learn it in Russia?
-When I just arrived in Russia, there was only one phrase I knew “What is your name?”. In Bulgaria we did not study Russian at school but my parents did, at that time it was an obligatory subject.
-What do you think of Russian cousine?
-I like Russian cuisine. I like borshzh, Oliver salade, pelmeny and beef plov.
-Can you cook?
-Not really. I can prepare some salmon, some pasta, some fried potatoes or scrambled eggs. It is simple. As to something more complex plate, I can’t.
-Who is the funniest guy in the team?
-I’m making friends with all the guys, we laugh. Ryzhikov is making jokes all the time (smiles).
-Do your partners recall that goal you scored against Rubin in 2016?
- Me and Ryzhikov are always making jokes about this goal. He says that I scored it unintentionally, but I don’t agree with him (laughs)
-So it was not an unintentional goal, was it?
-No, of course not. It was an assist from Promes and I scored (laughs). One never forget such goals.
-What do you think of your prospect in Rubin?
-We should finish as high as possible in the table. We have good players and good coaching staff and I think it’s quite possible. I’m sure that we will improve our rankings.
-Bulgaria head coach has said that you are going to be an important player at Rubin.
-I should justify these words. I have to prove myself every day at trainings and games and prove that I’m here to work hard and succeed.
– Надо оправдывать. Доказывать каждый день на тренировках и играх, что я приехал не просто так, а чего-то добиться.
-How would you assess the training camp and friendly games performance?
- We did our best to fulfill the objectives set by the head coach. There were many things in which we succeed, but in our game against Lillestrom we conceded an unforced goal because of some lack of concentration. We cannot relax and lose concentration. It was a friendly match but if it had been a League game we would have lost some really important points. It’s very important to stay concentrated and keep fulfilling the objectives of the head coach.
-What do you do in your spare time?
-I’ve started reading a lot. Books like autobiographies. For instance, I’m reading a book about Hristo Stoichkov. “How to win in football: 88 pieces of advice from number 8”. Another book I’ve recently read is a book about Carlo Ancelotti.
-Have you had an idol? A reference player?
-It was Ronaldo and Zidane. Los galacticos of Del Bosque were fantastic with Raul, Morientes, McManaman, Roberto Carlos, Solari. At that time I was a huge Real Madrid supporter.
-Which team are you going to support at the World Cup?
-I’m going to support Russia. I’ve been living here for six year now, making a living here. With Cherchesov now your National team have become more organized and tenacious. I think, Russia have chances. I think, you will qualify for the quarterfinal. I wish all the best to your team..
-Tell us about your family.
-Me and my wife, we’ve been together since 2010 now. My son is six and my daughter is turning two on March, 10.