“Wagner Love looks better than when he was young.” Former CSKA star scores in European competition
The other day we wrote about how great the 35-year-old ex-Zenit forward Hulk looks this season in the Brazilian Championship and the Copa Libertadores . Now there is a reason to remember another former RPL star – Wagner Love . The favorite of CSKA fans scored a double and an assist in the European Cup match.
There are no Russian clubs left in the League of Conferences – Rubin and Sochi did not make it to the playoff round. But in this tournament there are still people who are somehow connected with our football. In particular, Wagner Love, playing for “Kairat” from Alma-Ata. On Thursday, August 19, the team from Kazakhstan actually secured a place in the group stage of the League of Conferences by winning the first away match against Foul from Luxembourg. The difference was made by the 37-year-old ex-soldier.
After 27 minutes of the game, “Kairat” was losing 0: 1. The opponent only at first glance caught a passed pawn. In the previous stages, Fola won four matches out of four against Shakhtar from Belarus and Linfield from Northern Ireland. Everyone has learned to play now – should we not know this? But then “Kairat’s” business got better. On the 28th minute, after the interception, the guests organized a three-on-two attack, and Wagner Love rolled the ball into the penalty area under the impact of Artur Shushenachev . After another nine minutes, Wagner Love scored himself: he burst into the penalty area, grabbed the ball from Shushenachev and delivered an accurate shot into the near corner. And in the middle of the second half, Foul defenders knocked down Jose Kante, who went to the shock position after the transfer of the Brazilian. The judge appointed a penalty. Wagner Love hit the goal from the “point”, deceiving the goalkeeper on the pause. The emotional commentator of the meeting gave in this episode several striking characteristics of the striker – “super veteran”, “super Brazilian”, “head punching machine”.
quite effective: he played 42 matches for Almaty residents, scored 20 goals and made 17 assists. In June this year, the Brazilian was named the best player of the month in the championship of Kazakhstan. He scored 37 points in the poll, ahead of Croat Marina Tomasov from Astana (30) and the same Shushenachev (20).
Russian coach Alexander Grigoryan , whose Alashkert played with Kairat in the Europa League qualification in July, admitted that he was shocked by the form of the former CSKA striker.
“I was amazed at what form he was in! Believe me, Wagner Love looks better now than in his youth. I found out what is the reason for this state of his. He has been in fitness for six years and has a personal nutritionist. If during the performances for CSKA the Brazilian, despite all his great talent, gained a reputation as a fool, now he is a pro, “Grigoryan said in an interview with Match TV.
It is pertinent to recall that before moving to Kairat, Wagner Love was close to returning to CSKA. The parties have already agreed, but, according to rumors, Evgeny Giner changed his mind at the last moment and blocked the transfer. Nevertheless, the Brazilian hardly regretted that he went to Alma-Ata instead of Moscow. With “Kairat” he became the champion, played in European competitions, where he scored against Maccabi from Haifa, “Noah” and “Fole” (each of these teams had two goals). It was reported that his salary in Kazakhstan is € 1.2 million per year.
Meanwhile, another curious figure in “Kairat” is Kurban Berdyev . One of the most successful coaches in the history of Russian football has been working at the club since May 2021 as a consultant to the chairman of the supervisory board of Almaty residents, Kairat Boranbaev . Berdyev’s functions were described in general terms: accompanying and consulting the main team, the club’s academy and the Kairat project in Moscow. Many believed that it was the Russian specialist who actually performed the functions of the head coach, and Kirill Keker , who headed Kairat, was a nominal figure. However, a week ago, Keker was dismissed after being defeated in the Europa League by Alashkert, but he was replaced not by Berdyev, but by Artyom Gavrilenkoin the role of acting. Apparently, the club is looking for another head coach.
However, Wagner Love will be Kairat’s leading player under any coach. For this level, the Brazilian has enough class and physics. The striker’s contract with the club from Alma-Ata is until the end of 2021.