Kirill Panchenko: I want the fans to believe in success of their teams

An interview with Russia national football team midfielder, 2018 World Cup Ambassador for Saransk
12 January
Russia national football team midfielder, 2018 World Cup Ambassador for Saransk speaks of other professions he liked as a child, why he feels at home in Saransk and what he expects from the upcoming World Cup.
 

The ultimate goal of my life is to play

"My father believed that you need to take up sports from little up. I fell in love with football immediately. When I was very little I was visiting football practice with my father, and I liked how the adults played a lot. My practice started when I was 6. Ever since the ultimate goal of my life was to play.

If not for football, I would have been a pilot

"My first vivid impression of football was while visiting the Lokomotiv boarding school. It was amazing to meet those children, as little as I was, but so much more independent. In this school they alternated studying and playing football. I was 10 years old back then. Of course there were dreams of other professions. I enjoy aviation a lot. If not for football, I would have be a pilot.”

I feel at home in Saransk

"The decision to become a Saransk ambassador I made immediately without hesitation. The capital of Mordovia, where I spent four football seasons, became my hometown. There I met my spouse, there my daughter was born, there I am spending the New Year holidays with all my close ones. I won't be lying if i say I feel at home in Saransk. This city became my home, I like everything there. At least once a year I visit Saransk, unable to do it more often. A lot changes in a year, you notice many things that are being built. While driving past the stadium, I see Mordovia Arena growing, city infrastructure developing. With great pleasure I spend my family time at the Pushkin park, especially in summer. We like to walk around the city center and are very fond of the Cathedral of Feodor Ushakov. There are lots of amazingly beautiful places in the suburbs of Saransk. For example, Paygarma - I am a religious person, and this is a really special place for me."

I’m certain that we can more than handle the 2018 World Cup

"I remember the day Russia was elected as the World Cup 2018 host country, how we overtook England. I experienced a lot of positive emotions. I think that a country like Russia is definitely worthy of hosting the world championship. I’m certain that we can more than handle it..

2018 will be a fierce competition, matches of incredible tension, great football and a lot of fans. I really want the fans to believe in success of their teams."