Turkmen football player — about life in Hong Kong, gifts to wife and arrival in Ashgabat09.05.2023 | 10:16 |
Ruslan Mingazov is an experienced Turkmen football player, a midfielder of Hong Kong "Kitchi". By the age of thirty, he has experience playing for European and Asian championships and is called up to the national team on a permanent basis.
Most recently, Mingazov became the champion of Hong Kong as part of "Kitchi". In this regard, ORIENT contacted the star football player and talked about the difficulties on the way to the championship, life in Hong Kong, gifts to his wife, and also found out what kind of relationship is developing between the player and the new head coach of the national team of Turkmenistan, and when to expect Mingazov in Turkmenistan.
Hong Kong Championship: two cups in the first season, the top scorer and "stardom"
— You have great statistics — 17 goals in 18 matches — can this season be called the best in your career?
— I think he is one of the best only thanks to the statistics of goals scored. To be honest, I didn't even expect it myself. I'm a midfielder, and scoring goals is not really my direct responsibility, but this year I manage to realize chances and work more on finishing. I am glad of this fact.
— In the final round, you received a red card, while during the season you had only one yellow card. Is it the intensity of passions, or were other factors influenced?
— I think that the game (against Lee Man Warriors — ed.) was very difficult in itself, a lot of fighting and violations. The judge handed out cards right and left. I think that the fouls for which I was shown the cards were not enough to remove. But emotions, of course, were off the scale, there was just a lot at stake.
— The match against which team turned out to be the most difficult in the season?
— I think the last game (against Lee Man Warriors — ed.) was the most difficult, because the championship was at stake, the fate of the next Asian Champions League was being decided, but I am glad that after going through all these difficulties we eventually won.
— Initially arriving in Hong Kong, did you realize that you were able to win two trophies at once in the first season?
— When I came here, I was worried about adaptation and how my football career would develop here. But as you can see in the end, everything that has happened and is happening is the best you can think of.
— How to live so as not to "blow the roof off" after this?
— Well, we should celebrate the victory first (laughs), and then set new goals, new tasks for ourselves: it's getting better today than yesterday.
— You have had the experience of participating in many European leagues. How much does their level differ from the Asian one?
— Yes, I have played in different championships and there are different levels and weather conditions everywhere, but the level in Asia as a whole has grown. In the Hong Kong Championship, Brazilians play in each team. We have seven of them, so the championship is more technical, at fast speeds, there is a lot of open football, but everyone tries to defend against us and play on the counterattack.
Life in Hong Kong: I didn't leave my room for three weeks, skyscrapers and nature
— What struck the Turkmen football player in Hong Kong?
— Hong Kong is a beautiful city. We were struck, of course, by the skyscrapers, whose roofs sometimes go into the clouds. Nature is cool here: beaches, mountains — everything you want can be found here. It seems to me that if a person has the opportunity to visit Hong Kong, then he should definitely come and see this beauty. It is, of course, an expensive city, but seeing Hong Kong with your own eyes is worth it.
— Describe Hong Kong in three words.
— Skyscrapers, nature, people.
— What is your favorite place in Hong Kong, apart from the house and the stadium?
— I love the embankment near the house, it is also called "Avenue of Stars". It's cool to walk, breathe and see this beautiful view of the sea.
— What initial difficulties did you experience when moving to Hong Kong? How did you overcome them?
— When I arrived, it was a bit difficult here: quarantine for three weeks, you don't leave the room, then when you managed to get out, you need to be in a mask everywhere. We are one of the last who took them off in the end. I think the difficulties were connected with the pandemic, but as soon as the restrictions relaxed, everything fell into place.
Family: daughters speak English, gave his wife a watch after the victory, is going to Ashgabat
— What can distract you from football?
— Communication with interesting people can distract, and, of course, family, children. We try to spend time together.
— Judging by social networks, the family plays an important role. Does it give an additional incentive?
— When you are far from your homeland, you don't have many acquaintances, so basically: work, children, wife, home, well, family — for each person attaches great importance and values in life. I am no exception, they have always been my motivators when achieving goals.
— There is a tradition in your family to give each other gifts on the occasion of significant events — the championship is one of those. What have you already given your spouse?
— Yes, we try to designate each championship as a gift. On this occasion, I gave my wife a Swiss Breitling watch, because after the championship in the Czech Republic, I had such an accessory (smiles) — that's such a good tradition.
— Top three qualities that a footballer's wife should embody?
— I think it helps me — her support, care and faith in me in any situation.
— How was the adaptation of the daughters in Hong Kong?
— It was also not easy for the daughters to communicate, in a language they cannot speak, but we understood that time was needed and now they are already chatting in English. Soon, when talking to them, I will ask for an interpreter (smiles), so I tell them to talk to dad at home only in Russian.
— The season has already ended. The last time you were in Turkmenistan was at the beginning of 2020. When will you be expected in Ashgabat?
— We have one more cup game left. This Saturday is the FA Cup final. Unfortunately, the red card has spread there as well. After this game, the vacation begins. I plan to come to Ashgabat in the summer, I really missed you very much, I haven't seen many relatives for a long time. I plan to stay in Turkmenistan for ten days .
— What kind of picture comes to mind when it comes to Turkmenistan?
— So many pictures are displayed, but the parental home is the first thing I saw and felt.
Career in Turkmenistan: communicates with the head coach of the national team, does not exclude appearances for local clubs
— At the beginning of the year, the Turkmenistan national football team was headed by Mergen Orazov. The team has already held a TCB and a friendly meeting under his leadership. How was your acquaintance with him? What kind of relationships have developed?
— The acquaintance went very well, it is pleasant and productive to work with him. We keep in touch throughout the whole time. Even when I'm in Hong Kong, we can call, talk, discuss anything. We have a good relationship.
— In early June, the national team of Turkmenistan will take part in the first Central Asian tournament. What should the team do to show a decent result?
— We need more games, more understanding between the players and the coach's vision. I think everything is being done for this now.
— You often say that your entire football career is for the sake of your heritage and homeland. Is it possible to assume that in a few years you will be playing for one of the leading clubs in Turkmenistan?
— Yes, I do not rule out this option. Going back to where you started from is always the right thing to do.
— What is happiness?
— In my opinion, happiness is positive emotions, satisfaction with achieving goals, life, in love with children.
— What should I do to stay happy? Is it possible to be happy being away from home?
— Yes, you can be happy, of course. After all, everyone finds what they are looking for. For example, I miss my homeland, but at the same time I like to travel to different cities and countries, I love football, it also makes me happy. And of course, the family that is with you everywhere, no matter where you are and where you are. But there is only one homeland. This is a place where you always feel good and cozy. Turkmenistan is very important in my life.