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Prudnikov wants Dina to make history again

"I think we have the winning spirit of that legendary Dina," said captain Dmitri Prudnikov ahead of their semi-final with Kairat Almaty, which brings back some happy memories.

Dina made the finals at the first attempt
Dina made the finals at the first attempt ©Pavel Jiřík

Dmitri Prudnikov won the UEFA Futsal Cup with MFK Sinara Ekaterinburg and is eager to repeat the feat this year with ISK Dina Moskva, who may be making their debut in this competition but were the dominant force in the sport in the 1990s.

"I think we have the winning spirit of that legendary Dina,"  the 27-year-old said recalling his triumph with Sinara in 2008. The captain, an injury doubt, looked forward to Friday's semi-final with Kairat Almaty and spoke of his delight of being reunited with former Ekaterinburg goalkeeper Sergei Zuev.

UEFA.com: What does it mean to Dina to not only qualify for Europe but to reach the finals?

Dmitri Prudnikov: A lot! Years ago Dina were one of Europe's leading clubs but then were absent from the European scene for 14 years. Now we have qualified for the finals at our first attempt which says a lot. We are all striving to prove we won the Russian title for a reason.

UEFA.com: What does it mean to you to play in the UEFA Futsal Cup?

Prudnikov: The main privilege is to play against big sides like Barcelona or Kairat. These are difficult matches in which you learn a lot. It is a new challenge. Compared to the league matches it is very exciting to play in Europe. Everything is new and incredibly interesting.

UEFA.com: How would you assess Dina's performances in the main and elite round?

Prudnikov: For a team like Dina, the main round didn't cause any problems. Maybe there was certain nervousness in our opening game against Deva of Romania but overall we felt we progressed to the next round on merit. We were clearly the best side and nobody expected another outcome.

We faced much more serious opposition in the elite round. Chrudim from the Czech Republic are a solid side with great fighting spirit, so it wasn't easy for us. Our key match was against Araz Naxçivan with all the Brazilians in their squad. We led comfortably but squandered the advantage. It's good we clinched victory in the end.

UEFA.com: What do you think of semi-final opponents Kairat?

Prudnikov: They use the flying goalkeeper brilliantly. This element is very well drilled at Kairat. Moreover, they don't concede many goals, but everybody knows that we also can play very well with the flying goalkeeper and are able to surprise opponents at any given moment. I think Kairat are also wary of us.

UEFA.com: You had the experience of playing for European debutants when Ekaterinburg won in 2008, does it feel similar with Dina this time?

Prudnikov: I don't feel Dina are debutants. The team has already played in Europe [in a pre-2001 competition], the tournament just had a different name. Yes, there was a long pause after that, but we have UEFA Futsal Cup winners in our squad, also European and world champions. So we have many experienced players who are used to playing at the highest level.

UEFA.com: Describe how it felt to lift the trophy …

Prudnikov: Unmitigated joy! But the pleasure was just as strong last June, when Dina won the Russian league.

UEFA.com: Thinking back to the win in 2008, what are your memories of the final with Murcia FS in Moscow?

Prudnikov: Of course, I remember that final well. I have watched that match many times. It was a crazy game,  we could easily have either scored or conceded. The situation was extremely unstable until the very end. I didn't manage to score in the penalty shoot-out, but Sergei Zuev saved three shots and we won. This medal is one of the most important prizes of my career. It was one of the brightest episodes.

UEFA.com: Was the 4-1 semi-final win against Kairat also difficult?

Prudnikov: Yes, we conceded first and managed to improve the situation only in the second half. We can draw a parallel and set a goal: to beat Kairat once more in the semi-final, to play against a Spanish team in the final and get the trophy. I have nothing against repeating that story.

UEFA.com: With that experience, was it a delight when Zuev signed for Dina in the summer?

Prudnikov: I have known Sergei for a long time. Everything I have won in futsal I won with him alongside me. I was obviously happy Dina signed another excellent keeper who can raise the competition and pass on his experience to other keepers Dmitri Fayzullin and Igor Trushkin.

UEFA.com: Is the history of Dina and what they achieved in the past important to the players now?

Prudnikov: When you wear the Dina shirt you already know club's rich traditions. There's no need to remind masters of what caliber played here before: Konstantin Eremenko, Aleksandr Verizhnikov, Temur Alekberov, Arkadi Bely. They need no introduction and serve as an example for all of us.

UEFA.com: Is this something coach Andrei Yudin can provide as a player himself in that great team?

Prudnikov: As I've said, all the players know club history, so all who join the team feel the era of our forerunners. I think we have the winning spirit of that legendary Dina.