The Euro 2008 hit who's in the euros

On childhood

The worst childhood memory is when I had a toothache and was taken to a dental clinic to have it pulled out. Four doctors held me down, with the fifth advancing on me with tongs. I struggled free. Then they called in a bigger man. I haven't seen a dentist for 20 years. Before I started going to school, I used to spend my summers in a village near Tver with my grandparents. I milked cows and helped them about the house.

On clothes design

When I turned 17, I had to choose which university to attend. My friends and I decided to try for the Technology and Design Institute because there were lots of girls among the students and you didn't have to study too hard, or so we thought. I enrolled in the chemical technology department. But when I began training as a standby with Zenit I had to miss a lot of classes. I transferred to the clothes design department. My project was to design of a suit for leisure and sport. I have designed several garments myself. True, they are now at my institute's museum.

On character

I like to speak my mind. It has made me enemies. Sometimes I find it hard to hide my dislike of certain people. It may be bad, but that's me... I try not to let down my fans, and my way of repaying their affection and support is to try to play as well as I can. I am better some times than at other times, but I am always honest.

On Russian football

There are very few professional footballers in Russia. Football is a young game in this country. In the first 10 years after the break-up of the Union only those who had a Soviet background worked here: they could never adjust to the new way of football management. In many clubs coaches do not only football but all the other things. I don't care who I work with as a member of Zenit as long as he is not a Russian coach, who wouldn't have a chance here anyway. All this: "Where have you been?" "Why didn't you tell me in advance?" This army monotony: routine, lights out, reveille - Zenit wouldn't stand all that rubbish. We are a different kind of team, more democratic and modern.

On transfer to another club

I want to quit Zenit. I raised this question even before the European championship. I do not think I must discuss my options here. My only wish is to play in a stronger club. If Zenit agrees with Chelsea or Arsenal, I will gladly join either of them. The failure of a transfer to Barcelona has upset me, but I am trying to treat it philosophically. It is a pity one career option is off the table. I am perfectly aware of Zenit's position: the offered sum [15m euros - Ed] is really too small. It is strange that my good playing at Euro 2008 should have hurt my chances: my price jumped and my dream will perhaps remain a dream. Or be fulfilled another time.

On Hiddink

Hiddink and I struck up a personal relationship during summer training in Sochi when we were accommodated at a second-rate hotel. On behalf of a group of players I approached him and asked him to move the team somewhere else. If we had had a Russian coach, he would have said: "Look, boys, I agree the conditions are a little lame, but let us pull ourselves together and forget them - our main aim is to play a good game with Macedonia." But Hiddink at once requested better accommodation. By the way, I walked up to him and said: "Back in the USSR." Those were my only words. Hiddink had never lived in the Soviet Union, but saw at once what I meant. I am sure Guus Hiddink was our team's best player at Euro 2008.

On moods

Most of the time I am in a good mood. When I feel low, I try to hide it from other people... There are many things that can make a person cry. I don't remember the last time it happened to me. I definitely didn't cry this year.

On food

I have a sweet tooth, as they say. I seldom eat anything for breakfast, but if I do I prefer bliny, especially since my wife Yulia makes very good bliny. I like fast food even though I know it isn't good for you. I buy chocolate ice-cream. Of soft drinks I prefer kvas.

On family

I think family is one of the most important things in anyone's life. Yulia and I live together, but I call her my wife. Our relationship has been tested over the years. It's important that we try to find a common language and to understand each other in any situation.


Quotes about Arshavin


GUUS HIDDINK, Russia football team coach

"He is a player who can determine the outcome of the match. He can create opportunities out of nothing and be very useful to the team. He can score an incredible goal from any position."

"Arshavin is a player who can make quick decisions and create dangerous situations. He knows what to do, he is a cunning and smart player... that's why I took him into this tournament. He has proved me right. It's also very important that the other midfielders played a very smart game and allowed Arshavin to act imaginatively."

ZINEDINE ZIDANE, former France captain

"Arshavin surprised many of us in the Netherlands match. All his decisions were unexpected. He is still young and this is his first major tournament, so it is surprising that he is playing such high-quality football."

"What he does with the ball is really amazing. I enjoyed watching his game. He has magic feet. A superb player."

BBC sports commentator PHIL MCNULTY after the Euro 2008 match between Russia and Sweden

"His performance in this match and in the Uefa Cup demonstrated why he is coveted by the Premier League. On the field he was swift of thought and limb. His actions contributed greatly to the Russian victory. Arshavin looks more than confident this season. I would be glad to see him in the Premier League, along with some of his teammates."


5 facts about Arshavin


1.Born on May 29, 1981, in Leningrad. Played school football, made his debut for Zenit St Petersburg at 19.

2.Played for Zenit in 2001 when it was third in the Russian championship, in 2003 (second) and in 2007 (first). In 2005 and 2006 named best player in the championship.

3.In 2002 he played his first match for the Russian national team and in 2007 became its captain.

4.Red carded in the final Euro qualification match and missed the first two games in the championship. But he was named the best player in the next two.

5.In 2007 he became one of the highest-paid Russian football players, on 2.5m euros a year. After Euro 2008, Gazprom is rumoured to have offered to double that.

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