Originally appeared on www.jalgpall.ee, the Estonia FA website, we present you here a short interview with Estonia's goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko.
It is the first of a series of presentation of the Estonian internationals about to take a new challenge in qualifiers. 'Rumori' will offer you an English version for each protagonist speaking to the official website.
Name: Sergei Pareiko
Club: Volga Nizhni Novgorod (RUS, 1st division)
Debut in National Team: Belorus vs. Estonia (31.08.1996) – replaced Mart Poom in the 8th minute.
What is your best memory connected with the home crowd?
There have been many games in front of a sold-out stadium. There are three that come immediately before my eyes. Certainly, the 4-1 win against Northern-Ireland (Euro Cup 2012 qualifiers –edit), a hyper-important win. We played good football and naturally it was a good result, we sent the crowd mental! We won the game with style and after that there was need to do one step more: reaching the play-offs, and we did it.
Additionally, the 2-2 draw with Holland (October 2013, WC 2014 qualifiers –edit). In 2001 we opened Lilleküla with this game (Estonia vs. Holland 2-4 –edit) and after 12 years after we managed to get that far to be close to win. The win didn’t come in the end, but the game’s memory will live on.
The third game was the one against Italy (2010, Euro Cup 2012 qualifiers –edit), when we were leading 1-0 at first-half whistle. We had the feeling we could play against any opponent that way, both home and away. Even though we lost 2-1, everyone clapped his hands at us. Our game was good, we showed that we can play. We gave our best, however the result didn’t come.
What do you expect from the new qualification campaign?
I think that we can play the very same way as four years ago. The favorites and even sides are England and Switzerland. However, for the third place, everything is open. If we start with a good result against Slovenia at home, then I think we have a chance. Our side has played together for a long time, there’s experience and also fresh blood. Everything is in our hands and we have to believe ourselves that we can progress forward even though it’s hard. Let’s take it easy and reason game by game.