Intriguing debut: League of Nations – an opportunity for Lithuanians



September is one of the most successful months, if not the most successful, for the Lithuanian football team. It was at the beginning of the autumn that Lithuanians traditionally collected the most points in official competitions and often showed a few decent and pleasant surprises. Will this be the autumn of 2018?

2008, a powerful start in 2008 The European Championship Selection Championship is played in Naples with the Italians who played some planets of the planet (1: 1 played on 2 September 2006), in 2012. European Championship Selection – Draw (0: 0) September 3 at home with Scotland and victory (1: 0) on September 7 trip to Czech Republic.

Or – a magical breakthrough just after 2010 World Championships selection: September 6 Cluj 3: 0 will be destroyed in Romania and on September 10th. Austrian team defeated Marijampolė 2: 0. In the last game, the striker and the most successful national team player of all time, Tomas Danilevičius scored one of the most beautiful goals in the history of the national team.

The football players of our country get the chance to repeat the so-called "September Fairy Tale" soon – on September 7, they debut in Vilnius in the new project of the European Football Associations Union (UEFA) – the League of Nations League.

The first test for ours will be held by unsuccessful rivals – Serbian footballers. Lithuanians won the only victory in four official matches with the Serbian team in 2010. At the end of the World Cup selection cycle – 2009 In October Marijampolė, after having secured the name of the group's winners, was shot 2: 1 . The remaining three games lose with a total score of 0: 7. T. Danilevich only participated in 2008 in Belgrade 0: 3 in a losing game.

"Yet the adventures of us with the Serbs are pleasing to me: this selection cycle has been a great success both for myself and for the team. I would like to see these emotions again in September", he acknowledged as the team's former captain.

– Less than two weeks to go until the debut of the Lithuanian national team in the League of Nations. What will this tournament be for Lithuanians? – We asked LFF President T. Danilevich.

– Firstly, it is good that UEFA has set up such a project. This is a great way to make a friendly and informal match for a tournament that is both financially viable and offers you the opportunity to beat the roadblocks to the finals of the European Championship. Football players do not need more motivation. In addition, the team has a guaranteed number of matches and rivals. This is especially true for small countries such as Lithuania, because it was difficult for us to find rival forces. It is no secret that stronger teams develop their level of opponents or see how they can earn money. And for the sake of innovation, we make serious matches from friendly rehearsals. Moreover, according to the League of Nations teams are grouped according to capacity. So, looking at the sports side, the benefits are even greater because it is played with teams of a similar level. Another thing is that as a result of a higher rating we have jumped into a capable group (laughing – aut.).

The results of the League League will be a crucial starting point for our team and for coaching.

– Before the debut of the Lithuanian national team in Vilnius, not only the sport but also the entertaining part of the competition is emphasized. Do you want to make the opening event memorable?

– I do not know how much it will be for the team, but we, as organizers, will strive for the viewer to take action. I am not just talking about the male contingent of supporters, that is an absolute majority. We also invite families, women and children. By the way, we will hand out half a thousand tickets to organized groups of children. I recently visited the UEFA Super Cup in Tallinn before the World Championship in Russia in the Champions League final in Kiev. We have once again ensured that football is not just a game. This is a huge entertainment, generator of different activities. Our goal is to invite the spectator to the stadium well before the start of the match.

– During the career of a footballer you have been in Italy for many years. You know the football kitchen of this country perfectly. How to match in a match abroad?

– Football passes all day. Fans, the family feels attracted to the stadium a few hours ago and settles in their access restaurants and public areas. And the next hour the move to the stadiums. I hope that it will also be in Vilnius. The famous DJs play before the match at the stadium, the G & G syndicate will occur and different attractions will be played. I think the fans will have a lot of positive emotions. I would like to urge you not to postpone everything for the last moment: neither the purchase of tickets nor access to the stadium, because, to the extent that we increase the number of service bars, the bandwidth is limited. Thousands of people will certainly not go to the stands within 15 minutes.

– How do you rate the Lithuanian rival of the Serbian national team?

– We were able to get to know Serbian football very well this year. Both best clubs recently visited Lithuania – Crvena Zvezda from Belgrade (three players from the club invited by the Lithuanians) visited Marijampolė and Belgrade Partizan, who played with Trakai in Vilnius. Their best footballers represent the most famous foreign clubs, such as Machester United (Nemanja Matičius), Roma (Alexander Kolarov). We have also seen the Serbs in the world championship this year. They scored points in a strong group and fiercely resisted the Brazilian team. The current Serbian team is one of the leaders in Europe. So I have no doubt that we will see a high football level.

– What are our opportunities? It is no secret that the team has recently been in a certain crisis.

– In fact, the latest results are not the best. But let us not forget that we are actually talking about a friendly, controlling competition. We value them as a preparation for the League of Nations. It is the result of this tournament that will be the decisive reference point for the evaluation of the team and the work of coaches. We take into account the strength of our group, but we expect a qualitative shift forward.

– It is not uncommon for the team of your generation to demonstrate that Lithuanians have a chance at the start of the selection cycles because the World Championships or European Championships are often in jail for another selection cycle …

– Of course, rivals can come to Vilnius in a slightly different way than during the summer at the World Championships. Maybe they want to test the newcomers of the team, but the Serbian capacities do not raise my doubts. Much more important is how we look. I think that our motivation will be the maximum. However, it is not possible to be packaged daily for the local European championships.

– And the good footballers themselves, in fights with well-known European teams, can become a point of a career break. We remembered that Marius Stankevicius was in Kaunas with the legendary Italian leader Alessandro Del Piero, when the young Panevėžys neutralized one of the most prominent safe havens in the Old Continent and quickly received solid offers from Italian clubs.

– Such games are broadcast not only in our country, but also in foreign TV's, monitored by various agents, clubscouts from all over Europe. That is why men have a great opportunity to show themselves to a wider audience. They have every chance to prove that the skills of Serbian footballers are not too big.


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