1.01.2022Bayer 04

‘Tell me, Andrey’: Lunev on Russia

Bayer 04 goalkeeper Andrey Lunev provides readers of the Werkself Magazin with insights of his homeland Russia. In the 'Tell me...' section, the 30-year-old talks about Russian specialities, characteristics and athletes…

Which is the most beautiful square in Moscow?

"There are so many beautiful places in Moscow but I have to mention at least three. My absolute favourite is the Luschniki Quarter where there's the stadium of the same name. It's the green pearl of Moscow. Then there's Gorki Park with its lakes and attractions – a real pleasure park. And, of course, – everybody knows it – Red Square. A little tip: There are always lots of tourists during the day and lots of turmoil – but it's perfect later on in the evening. There's nothing better than Moscow by night."

You played in St. Petersburg. What should you do definitely see there?

"It's a really great city with lots of beautiful squares – and Saint Isaac's Cathedral is incredible. If you like museums then you should obviously go to the Hermitage. You need at least a whole week there to see everything. Don't forget: the Gazprom Arena where Zenit play. The stadium is really worth a visit."

Which mountain should you climb in Russia?

"Mountains in the Urals and the Caucasus are worth looking at. But amongst all of them, Mount Elbrus at 5,642 metres stands out."

What should you definitely eat in Russia?

"That's an easy choice for me: Russian borscht is a must. And also very much to be recommended: Pelmeni, stuffed dumplings. I particularly like them with sour cream."

Who is the most important Russian author?

“Bulgakov, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky: They are obviously all significant authors not just in Russian culture but also worldwide. Works like Tolstoy's ‘War and Peace’ are genuine classics."

Which holiday is particularly Russian?

"Well, we celebrate Christmas on 7 January and not like here at the end of December. One Russian day of remembrance is definitely 12 April. It's the Day of the Cosmonauts – and that's a reminder of the first manned space flight made by Yuri Gagarin on the Vostok spaceship on 12 April 1961."

What do you think are typical Russian characteristics?

"We have strong characters and we Russians are open people, we speak to everybody – and we like joking. We have a good sense of humour."

Who is the greatest Russian athlete for you away from football?

"We have an incredible number of great athletes so it's difficult to make a decision. But if I should name somebody then it is Alexander Ovechkin who won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals and is definitely one of the best ice hockey players of all time. As a child, I used to like watching the Olympics and the pole vaulter Sergey Bubka is naturally one of our idols."

Who is the greatest Russian athlete in football?

"Of course, Lev Yashin is a role model for every goalkeeper as he was the best keeper in the world in his day. His name is associated with the Soviet Union winning the European Championships in 1960. The 'Black Panther' was a legend but unfortunately Yashin died in 1990, a year before I was born. Later, Rinat Dasayev impressed me as a goalkeeper but we also had many outfield players such as Oleg Blokhin."


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