Alexandr Averyanov: "I can only speak most highly of Ilyumzhinov"

Alexandr Averyanov is 67 years old. He has been struggling with a serious illness for several years. However, he still lives. He lives by football. Reporter of Sovsport.ru met the famous coach who, despite everything, still wants to work in premier league.

- You coached "Wings of the Soviets","Ocean" and some other prominent Russian club...

Is it "Uralan"? Yes, we were able to work the team out of a jam, and it remained in the top league. When I started to coach it, my main task was to get the team out of the relegation rank to the eighth position. Moreover, we nearly did it, but tied with "Zenith" in the final round.

However, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was at that time both the President of Kalmykia and "Uralan", said to me: "The ninth position is better than the eight."
- Why is that so?
Buddhists believe that nine is the number of heaven, having the supreme spiritual power. Generally, I can only speak most highly of Ilyumzhinov. He did everything for the team while he had such opportunity. And I had formed an excellent relationship with Ilyumzhinov.
I remember how he took the microphone and thanked me for saving the team before the entire stadium. In addition, "Uralan" started next season quite successfully; however, we gave way to Moscow "Locomotive" in the Cup semi-final. And, unfortunately, in an overtime. After that, I was fired. Some intrigues had been involved. Later, when Ilyumzhinov invited me to his office in Moscow, he said that he was sorry about what had happened.
- What is your best recollection of Ilyumzhinov as the President of a football club?
"Uralan" once went to Brazil for a tournament. "Spartacus" had to go, but refused because its matches began on January 7. I thought when would I ever visit the homeland of Pele and be able to play at "São Paulo". It has turned out to be an excellent trip! We took several Brazilian players. One of them - Kasiano - well, he was superb! Swift, agile.
Ilyumzhinov looked at him and said to me: "Can you coach my son to play like him?" I said that I would try. His son was then 7 years old. He failed to handle the ball like Kasiano. However, the son of Kirsan Nikolaevich proved to be the much better chess player.