31 Jan 2020
Doha, 30 January 2020. At the 2019 edition of the MATCH PREMIER CUP in Doha, Spartak Moscow crowned itself champion after impressive performances against Lokomotiv, FC Zenit and Rostov. This year, the 22-times Russian champion returned to the tournament, held from February 1 to 9, with new head coach Domenico Tedesco. Before his team faces Rostov on Saturday, the German-Italian took the time to answer some questions about the upcoming tournament, his first trip to Qatar and the future goals of the club.
Domenico, Spartak won the first edition of the MATCH PREMIER Cup here last year, you were appointed as the club’s head coach about half a year later. Nonetheless, is there something that you know about last year’s event?
Domenico Tedesco: I can’t compare, because last year I was not the coach of Spartak. So I can only talk about my first impressions in this year and they are really good. The conditions here are great and we are looking forward to playing our first matches in 2020.
What is your message to the fans of your club in Qatar and what can they expect from their club in this tournament?
This tournament is an important part of our preparation. When we go on the pitch we want to win, that’s for sure. But on the other side it’s normal for this moment that we will give a lot of guys the chance to show themselves. And we have to be careful with the physical efforts, because it’s normal for this stage of the preparation, that we are not at a 100 percent yet and we don’t want to risk getting injured.
What do you think about Aspire Academy and its philosophy to develop athletes for Qatar?
For me personally it’s the first time here in Doha. So I can’t give you a well-founded assessment by far, but my first impressions of the conditions and the possibilities for the athletes are very good. I can see a lot of potential that the facilities here can provide.
What are the goals of your club in the second half of the season?
Spartak is a great club with a great history and ambitious goals in the future. We have a very young and ambitious team that we want to develop it to its maximum. We are convinced that there is a lot of talent and potential in this group of players. But at the moment it’s important to stabilize the team and to collect as many points as possible as fast as possible. That’s most important goal at the moment and, of course, to make our fans happy again.