“We do not accept this type of behavior.” The Dynamo footballer refused the Russian national team for the sake of Georgia
Russian Dynamo defender Saba Sazonov decided to play for Georgia, as he was invited to the Russian youth football team. Why was the coach of the Russian “youth team” not satisfied with the behavior of the footballer and how he performs in the RPL in the content of “RBC Sport”?
Dynamo defender Saba Sazonov (Dynamo) prevents Quincy Promes (right) and other Spartak players from scoring in the first round match of RPL-2022/23 (Photo: Sergey Fadechev / TASS)
Dynamo Moscow’s Russian defender Saba Sazonov has accepted a call-up to the Georgia youth football team. Dynamo reported this a week after the 20-year-old defender’s debut call to the Russian youth team, where they were dissatisfied with the behavior of the footballer.
“Saba Sazonov, along with other Dynamo Football Club players, received a call-up to the Russian youth team last week,” said youth team coach Mikhail Galactiov. – After the conclusion of the next round of the RPL, the technical and administrative staff of the team were waiting for the usual arrival of the players at the Novogorsk base. All players arrived on time except for Sazonov.
The coach also highlighted that the player announced on Monday morning that he refused to come, “although he was in contact with the administrative headquarters until the last day.”
“We don’t want to discuss the player’s personal decision to play for another national federation, as it is his personal wish. But we categorically do not accept such behavior of players belonging to the Russian national team,” Galaktinov said.
Which team did the player choose?
Sazonov has Georgian roots. His mother is former volleyball player Nino Nishnianidze. In January, he told Match TV that he had not yet decided which team he would play for.
“At this time, representatives of the Russian and Georgian youth teams contacted me, but the matter did not reach a specific call. Of course, I would like to play for the Russian national team, because I am a student of the Russian football school,” he said.
Sazonov has yet to comment on his decision to play for Georgia. “Championship” quoted a source as saying that the footballer made such a decision due to the lack of interest from the Russian side. “The RFU approached Sazonov with an offer to play for the Russian national team against the Georgian Federation. The Russian Union requested the player’s passport data and other documents, but for a long time it did not come to the actual call and offer,” the source said.
“Sazonov has been waiting for Russia’s active action for a long time and will not refuse a call up to the Russian national team,” he added. – But soon the Georgian Federation came to the player, which proved to be more active: they invited the player to Georgia and explained the potential. After that, Sazonov accepted Georgia’s offer. When Sazonov was called up to the Russian youth team, he had already decided to play for the Georgian national team.”
How Sazonov Performs in RPL
He graduated from St. Petersburg football school “Change”. As part of Zenit, he played one match: on May 16, 2021, in a guest match with Tambov (5: 1), he entered as a substitute and made his RPL debut.
In the summer of 2021, he signed a contract with Dynamo until 30 June 2024. By the end of 2020 he had logged 36 minutes in two RPL games. And on 3 March 2021, he made his debut in the starting eleven in a Russian Championship match with Spartak. The lack of central defenders gave him an opportunity: Ukrainian Ivan Ordets left the club after the start of a special operation, and Roman Evgeniev was suspended.
Based on the results of that match, Sazonov received a lower score. Spartak players (0:2) often attack from their zone. The young defender often made mistakes and became the author of the lost ball. In the remaining games of the season, he took the field three more times: twice as a starter; Once – one minute before the end of the game.
At the beginning of this season, Dynamo were left without a central defender due to the departure of Army. The most experienced of them was Sazonov. He has improved significantly this season and has retained his place in the starting eleven despite the arrival of foreign players. However, he is not an indispensable player for Dinamo and does not stand out against other teams’ central defenders.
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