By Vera Martirosyan/Vera&Football
Italian football star Gennaro Gattuso is one the players who came to Armenia to participate in a friendly match devoted to the 60th birth anniversary of Khoren Hovhannisyan, the legendary player of FC Ararat Yerevan (Armenia). In an interview with Armenian News-N EWS.am, famous player shared his impressions about the visit to Armenia, Italian football and future plans (photo).
Former Soviet players know Khoren Hovhannisyan and they were happy to receive an invitation to his friendly match. How did Mr. Gattuso appear to receive an invitation to come to Yerevan?
Even if I did not know him personally, I've heard much about him. I know that he is a national legend. Not only in Armenia, but also in the Soviet football, he was considered a great man. So I agreed to come to Yerevan with pleasure. It's a great honor to be invited to this match.
What did you know about Armenia prior to your visit?
I do not know much about the country, but I like to be informed about football. I am following football news, and I knew that Bernard Challandes is Armenia's coach, that you have talented players. Youe national squad is strong enough, and there are good young players.
How often do you participate in such events?
Yes, I took part in such games, and what I like about them is to meet former colleagues, former rivals on the football field. It is funny and nice to see them gray-haired and overweight. I really like meeting them.
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There are many Milan fans in Armenia. What do you think when will Milan rise again?
Milan has been on leading position for 25 years, and the fans must take the crisis calmly. Berlusconi did much for football. We must realize that many years passed, he has right to make a move back. We must expect that there will be investors who will stretch a helping hand to Milan. Not only Milan, the entire Italian football is in crisis.
What are your plans for the future?
I became a coach 2.5 years ago and I want to continue this job. I am not in a hurry, but now I'm in search of a good team where I will continue my career.
Photo by Arsen Sargsyan/ NEWS.am