New FC Spartak Moskva recruit Nikola Drinčić spoke exclusively to uefa.com about adapting to life in the Russian capital following his move from FC Amkar Perm earlier this month, revealing his dream of winning a Premier-Liga title and playing in the UEFA Champions League. The Montenegrin midfielder, 25, signed a long-term contract with Spartak after three years with Amkar and headed straight to Turkey for a pre-season training camp with his new team-mates.
uefa.com: You had options of staying with Amkar and moving abroad. Why did you choose Spartak?
Nikola Drinčić: I had a number of options to go on with my career, for example in Italy. But Spartak started to show interest in me long ago and made the most concrete proposal. They are a club that always want to be in the Champions League, and that fits my own ambitions.
uefa.com: Amkar finished their season on 29 November so you had plenty of time to rest. Where did you spend your holiday?
Drinčić: At home with my family. I got married last autumn and it's very difficult because I want to be in Belgrade with my relatives, though they understand the situation. When the league starts in March, they will come to Moscow.
uefa.com: How did the team welcome you?
Drinčić: Great! I spend most of the time with goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa, we room together. But other players also welcomed me warmly. I have been with this team for a week now, and so far I like everything.
uefa.com: Have you spoken to coach Valeri Karpin?
Drinčić: Yes, we had a talk when I was moving to Spartak. We spoke about various tactical aspects. Karpin told me what I have to change in my game. Here, at the training camp, he also gave the players clear instructions. He's interesting to work with.
uefa.com: You once said you admire Spartak striker Welliton's game. Now you play for the same club as last season's top scorer.
Drinčić: Yes, he was the player I liked the most in the entire Russian league. Welliton was great against Amkar last season and scored [three of Spartak's seven] goals against us. He's an incredibly quick and prolific forward. However, there are other high-class players at Spartak.
uefa.com: Welliton scores most of his goals from open play, while you are a free-kick master. Do you practice them?
Drinčić: I was born to be good at free-kicks!
uefa.com: Would you say the move to Spartak, who will play in the UEFA Champions League next season, is the most important step of your career?
Drinčić: Yes, but only if I play regularly, do not get injured and the club win the title. I also hope we will produce some big victories in the UEFA Champions League, a competition I dream to play in. I have to work hard.
uefa.com: Turning to the Montenegrin national side, you finished second from bottom in your FIFA World Cup qualifying group, with nine points from ten matches. Could you have performed any better?
Drinčić: We have a very good team but we were unlucky to start in poorly. Luck turned its back on us in the very first match against Bulgaria as we let the victory slip from our grasp in injury time. It probably had an impact on the subsequent fixtures. There are plenty of strong teams in Europe now.
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