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Rubin hangover concerns Sharonov

Published: Tuesday 29 September 2009, 8.18CET
Roman Sharonov conceded it had been "very difficult psychologically" for FC Rubin Kazan to switch from UEFA Champions League football to domestic action as FC Internazionale Milano come calling.
by Oleg Sokol
from Kazan
Rubin hangover concerns Sharonov
European football has brought a new set of priorities for Rubin to juggle ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

RubinInternazionale

Goals scored4
 
17
Attempts on target20
 
67
Attempts off target17
 
61
Corners26
 
43
Offsides12
 
56
Fouls committed94
 
196
Yellow cards12
 
32
Red cards0
2
 
Published: Tuesday 29 September 2009, 8.18CET

Rubin hangover concerns Sharonov

Roman Sharonov conceded it had been "very difficult psychologically" for FC Rubin Kazan to switch from UEFA Champions League football to domestic action as FC Internazionale Milano come calling.

FC Rubin Kazan defender Roman Sharonov conceded the Russian champions were still coming to terms with the dual demands of European and domestic football as FC Internazionale Milano become the first group-stage visitors to the capital of Tatarstan.

Seasoned campaigner
The 33-year-old featured in the Rubin sides that won the second-tier title in 2002 and finished third in the Premier-Liga the following season, but left the club for a few years after making two appearances for Russia at UEFA EURO 2004™. He returned to become a member of their championship-winning squad last season, but had little idea of how much European competition could affect his team-mates.

Big comedown
Following their 3-1 loss to FC Dynamo Kyiv on Matchday 1, Rubin have earned just one point from their last two Premier-Liga games, drawing 0-0 with FC Tom Tomsk and then losing 2-1 to FC Amkar Perm. "It has been very difficult psychologically to play in the Russian league after the Champions League tie at Dynamo," he conceded before the Inter game. "The atmosphere at the stadiums is completely different."

Free-kick specialists
No less worrying for Sharonov has been Rubin's goalscoring: they have stuck just twice in their last three matches, with both goals coming from Alejandro Domínguez free-kicks. "I agree that we have problems with scoring from open play," he said. "We make chances but can't score. Why? That's something that we have to address, but we definitely have to work on our finishing."

'A real holiday'
Whether they will have much luck against an Inter side Sharonov described as "one of the best teams in the world" remains to be seen, but the defender took some comfort in knowing that home supporters in Kazan were relishing the opportunity to see their local heroes pit their wits against José Mourinho's Italian champions. "It is a real holiday for the fans," said the seven-times capped international.

Party poopers
Walter Samuel, who will partner summer arrival Lucio in the heart of the Inter defence, was aware that his side would face tough opponents, but hoped to spoil the party mood nonetheless. "We spoke about Rubin today and I think they are a good team with quality players," he said. "I only know Domínguez, as he is Argentinian, but we have only come here for a win."

Last updated: 29/09/09 19.22CET

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