“CSKA is time to hand over golden horseshoes.” Interview with Army Captain Nikita Kurbanov

It is impossible to imagine the current CSKA without Nikita Kurbanov. He is the record holder for the number of games for the Moscow club: the 36-year-old striker has played 728 (!) games in the “red-blue” uniform, including 403 in the starting lineup.

At the end of the 2022/23 season, the team captain’s contract with CSKA ended, a new one has not yet been signed… In an interview with , Kurbanov said:

“Yes, we lost, but face it and use it as a tool next year.”

– CSKA celebrated its anniversary and the end of the season with a party on the boat. Did you like the holidays?

“It’s a pretty nice event. As they say, a full-fledged summary of the season for the club. Also, here the youth project of CSKA was noted, as well as office workers.

– How do you personally assess the results of the past season?

— Of course, we didn’t think about third place. I had plans for the final in my head. But it turned out that it happened. Probably, now the emotions have calmed down and you are thinking less. Well, that means we have to work on something more in order to qualify for the championship.

“Did you already have bronze medals in your collection?”

– I don’t remember now… I have a bronze medal with Spartak Saint-Petersburg, but it was the last year of the PBL.

Bronze for CSKA is definitely the first. We collected the bronze, the silver. It’s time to go back and put the golden horseshoes back on. We should try to do it next year. It’s time to return to normal – to CSKA’s golden age.

– Did the military team underestimate Lokomotiv-Kuban in the semi-finals?

“To be honest, I don’t want to focus on something now, go back in time and look for something that we weren’t ready for. It’s hard. It’s just that a certain period has passed. already elapsed and that you have already given up certain moments.

And, of course, you have to let go. Yes, we lost, but take it easy and use it as a tool next year. This should be your main motivation.

“I immediately congratulated Vorontsevich on the championship”

– What action are you ready for if CSKA become champions next season?

– You have to do it first. You can say a lot, but your words must be backed up with actions. In other words, let’s play it first, because the season is an unpredictable story. As soon as we have won the gold, it will be possible to give a more precise answer. I don’t want to run in front of the locomotive. I want to win gold first, then remember how far we’ve come.

– Did you congratulate the UNICS players for the championship?

— Yes, Andrei Vorontsevich. They deservedly won, well done.

Have you seen him since the season?

– No, it is clear that Andrei has his own celebratory story. brighter than ours. But after the decisive match, I immediately wrote to him: “Andryukha, congratulations! Well done.” He thanked me.

– Vorontsevich, who spent 14 years at CSKA, knows how to charge his teammates to win. Maybe the army team is running out of it now?

– This question is not for me exactly, not within my competence. I don’t have to decide which players should be at CSKA for it to help us.

– You have been captain of CSKA for several seasons. How difficult is it?

– When there are very professional players nearby, it’s quite simple. But I was also lucky that Semyon Antonov was nearby. I take it for me as co-captain. He helps me a lot in “public relations” in the team (laughing). That is, in the work of creating an atmosphere.

When Semyon got injured and was out for a long time, I missed him a bit. But in the playoffs he traveled with us to Krasnodar, supported and provided the mood in the locker room. On my part, Semyon is very grateful that in such a difficult time for the team and for himself, he was with us on all the trips.

“We see that the Swede is nearby, in a good mood. It’s expensive”

— The season passed without international competitions. What did it look like in this format?

– At first it was somehow incomprehensible, but then I reconciled. Because when you perceive this action only through the TV screen, your feelings are dulled little by little.

However, during the Final Four, of course, I mentally raced backwards, and the very emotions that were previously there during all that action resurfaced.

— How much have you followed the Euroleague lately?

– I won’t say that I saw all the matches, but I saw fundamental matches like Fenerbahce against Anadolu Efes. These are tough fights. Playoffs almost all watched. And, of course, the Final Four.

You can’t say that last season in the regular season there was a big difference between the first and the tenth team. The fight was too intense. That is, if you were in second place, then literally because of a defeat, you could fall to the fifth or sixth row. There are already a dozen favorites here during the season. This shows the level of competition and basketball in the tournament.

– How did you personally perceive what happened to Alexei Shved in early May?

“Like any normal person. This is all out of reach. This is simply unacceptable. One day after the incident, we managed to visit Alexei in the hospital and wish him good health. Now we see that he’s nearby, in a good mood. It’s expensive.

“My priority is CSKA. And then we’ll see how we’re going to build a dialogue.

– Do you have a valid contract with CSKA?

– No, it’s expired. And after? Let’s see.

Are negotiations underway?

– Now it’s time for the end of the season… So far, there have been no negotiations. I am open to dialogue.

– Priority – CSKA?

– Naturally.

– Are they open to other teams?

– Time will show. Let’s see. I do not yet understand what CSKA can offer: everything is done in stages. It depends on what information will be for me, I need to perceive them and make a decision …

– But judging by the phrase “it’s time to put back golden horseshoes”, do you see yourself in the future at CSKA?

– Well, again, my priority, of course, is CSKA. And then we’ll see how we’re going to build a dialogue.

Upcoming holidays. What plans are you making?

– Relax with your family. Sunbathe. I think we will go to warmer climates, where there is more sun.

– Emirates?

– No, it’s too hot. We will look for something where the weather is more tolerant.

– Are you going to rest in Russia?

I will also be at home. I really like the town of Ples in the Ivanovo region. This year in the middle or end of July I will go there.

– Does anything connect you to Ples?

– No, having only visited Plyos once, I fell in love with its authenticity, its silence. I get a certain boost of energy from it.

At the beginning of the holidays, just after the season, I like the story of the beach: only sand, ocean, silence. And then you can dilute it all with some sort of cognitive journey.

Does your son play basketball?

No, he is still young.

– Do you have any plans for this?

– Let’s see. Of course, he supports CSKA in home games, he watches away games on TV. After games – running on the floor, playing basketball.

And at home, too, there is a ring. It is clear that all this comes from me, but not in terms of instructions. He just watches it and repeats it, trying to replicate certain moments. Well, he also knows the players of our entire team who play under which number.

Source : MatchTV

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