Few weeks ago we had the chance to meet Ragnar Klavan, Estonian international and central defender at FC Augsburg, Bundesliga. ‘Raku’ is the only Estonian international who plays in one of the top5 continental leagues. Estonian fans follow his games at Augsburg with the same passion as if the Swabian club was an Estonian one.
As Captain of the national team, we were delighted to present Ragnar with a copy of Andrea Pirlo’s biography, which was published more than a month ago (more info about it here) and ahead of the national team resumed activities (friendly with Sweden and Euro2016 qualifier against Slovenia).
‘Thank you! Awesome present, I’m gonna read it’ told enthusiastically to Rumori the 28-year-old defender. It was a chance for us to ask him what his memory about Pirlo from 2010 is.
Italy visited Tallinn for the Euro 2012 qualifier as the ‘Azzurri’ snatched the three points with a 2-1 comeback win.
‘He is the real maestro’ told without any hesitation Ragnar who did not tire to repeat a few time he is world-class. ‘In my eyes one of the best midfield players at the moment. The way he moves, his passes, his world-class status…playing against him, so close up, it was an unbelievable experience. It was awesome to see what he is doing on the pitch.’
We involved ‘Raku’ in the same game we had with Aivar Pohlak, the Estonian FA president: who is the Estonian Pirlo? Does the Estonian Captain agree with the Chairman hinting at Dmitrjev?
Ragnar sweeps the doubt as if it was a ball sent in the penalty box.
‘I see Dmitrjev more of a defensive midfielder. The one who takes the ball away from opponents’ feet and then gives it to Vassiljev to start the build-up. Vassiljev is definitely like Pirlo.’
How much the Estonian national team can miss Vassiljev’s performances is clear from the great words he spends for his teammate who is sidelined by an injury: ‘Kostja’s understanding, vision and knowledge of the game, they are alike with Pirlo’s. If we draw a parallel between Italy and Estonia, Kostja is definitely much more similar to Andrea.’
What would Ragnar expect to find in Pirlo’s biography? ‘I hope to find some advices on how either to move on in my career or on how to become better, in general a new point of view about football.’
Ragnar Klavan has collected 97 caps with the national team and scored three goals. He is only three games away to enter the 100-cap legends of Estonian football: Martin Reim (153) Marko Kristal (143) Andres Oper (134) Mart Poom (120) Kristen Viikmäe (115) Raio Piiroja (113) Enar Jääger (107) and Indrek Zelinski (103). A target at end before the end of the year as Estonia will take on Lithuania (8th of October, away), England (12th of October, home) and San Marino (15th of November, away) for the Euro2016 qualifiers.
You can follow the Estonian national team in English in our special dedicated section.