Moscow, July 19 – Appointing Italy’s Fabio Capello as Russia coach would kill off Russian coaching, said former national team manager Valery Gazzaev.
The Russian Football Union reportedly is in the final stages of negotiations with Capello, but Gazzaev, who had himself been a candidate for the post left vacant by Dick Advocaat, said he was against any foreigner taking charge.
Gazzaev, who took CSKA Moscow to the 2005 UEFA Cup, noted he still had respect for former Russia coaches Advocaat and Guus Hiddink, both Dutchmen.
“And I am on good terms with Fabio Capello, but I continue to consider idea of inviting a foreign coach to the national team of Russia as a wrong one,” Gazzaev said at a RIA Novosti news conference.
“With such appointments the Russian school of coaching is just being killed,” he said. “No matter how good a foreign specialist is, he can’t know the history of our football, its traditions; this is not a patriot (of Russia) at the end of the day.”
“Foreign coaches in clubs – that’s fine. In the national team, no.”
Gazzaev is the second-most successful coach in the history of the Russian Premier League, having won four titles with CSKA and hometown side Alania Vladikavkaz, where he is now club president.
He insisted that the last six years of Advocaat and Hiddink had produced little in terms of results, despite the country’s run to the Euro 2008 semifinals, which included a 4-1 demolition of the Netherlands.
“Over the past six years we had only one good game with Netherlands [at Euro 2008],” Gazzaev said. “Give me at least one young player who grew to the rank of the star during that time,” he added.
Gazzaev was one of 13 coaches to feature on a Russian Football Union list of candidates published last week. He insisted he was not upset at being overlooked. Neither was he willing to become Capello’s assistant.