Published: Friday, 20 January 2017 15:18

“Kolpino rocket” is flying from Moscow!

The friendly match between the veteran teams of Saint Petersburg and Russia traditionally held on the last day of the Granatkin Memorial always attracts big interest among the spectators who want to find out “What’s the current level of our former idols?”. This year it has additional “flavor”. First time in the history of such matches there will be Alexander Panov playing – the indisputable icon of the Saint Petersburg fans of late 1990s and early 2000s, the ex-striker of FC Zenit and the author of two memorable goals in the Russian Cup 1999 final match and the “Kolpino rocket” nickname bearer.

Of course, it’s not accidental that Panov is playing in the upcoming match. “We decided to bring some younger blood into our team prior to our visit to Saint Petersburg” – comments Alexander Mirzoyan, the leader of the veteran team of Russia and the former FC Spartak famous defender. Ruslan Nigmatullin, the 42-year-old ex-goalkeeper of Moscow’s Lokomotiv and Spartak, will also make his debut on the field of the Saint Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex. Here’s a full list of the guest team: Nigmatullin, Mirzoyan, Khlestov, Gorlukovich, Bukievsky, Oskolkov, Tsveiba, Yakhimovich, Kornaukhov, Mashkarin, Belyi, Kolyadko, Shmarov, Panov, Markarov, Orlov. Practically all of them are from Moscow. The squad is formed from various former professionals – a number of Spartak players led by Sergey Gorlukovich, the Olympic champion of 1988 (he was taking part in the Seoul Games as a then player of Lokomotiv Moscow), Dinamo players – Erik Yakhimovich and Akhrik Tsveiba (who managed to play for four Dinamo clubs during his career – Sukhumi, Tbilisi, Kiev and Moscow), CSKA players Denis Mashkarin (who was born in Leningrad, but who played only one season for FC Zenit when he was 18), Viktor Kolyadko and Oleg Kornaukhov (who started his career in Torpedo)… There is another interesting reinforcement, besides Panov and Nigmatullin – Arkadiy Belyi, the eight-time champion of Russia for… Dina Moscow futsal club, and later – famous sports commentator. Belyi is far from genuine “veteran age” – he’s only 43.

The host veteran team of Saint-Petersburg full list includes Oganessian, Afanasiev, Aleksandrov, Vedeneev, Gegechkori, Gerasimov, Dmitriev, Zheludkov, Zakharikov, Ivanov, Kanishchev, Klementiev, Kondrashov, Kuznetsov, Pletnev, Protasov, Radchenko, Tarasov, Timofeev, Ugarov, Tsvetkov, Chukhlov. The heads of the Saint Petersburg team that is mostly formed from the legendary Zenit-1984 team players also had to “strike back”. The first USSR champions from Leningrad are in their 50s already, and even the youngest player – the striker Sergey Dmitriev – will turn 53 this spring. That’s why some fresh blood and “perspective youngsters” had to be urgently added into the application – defenders Andrey Kondrashov, Valery Tsvetkov, midfielder Denis Ugarov, strikers Dmitry Radchenko and Evgeny Tarasov.

So the more interesting the match will be for the spectators!


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Copyright 2011 Мемориал Валентина Гранаткина / Valentin Granatkin Memorial - “Kolpino rocket” is flying from Moscow!.
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