Another Argentine moved to Europe on Saturday, with Carlos Matheu, star defender of Independiente’s successful campaign to return to the Copas, moving from Avellaneda to Lokomotiv Moscow for US$3.3 million. He’ll join former River Plate midfielder Guillermo Pereyra in Russia’s administrative capital, and had some kind words to say about the rising status of Russian football in the European heirarchy.
Just over a year ago, Matheu was interested in moving, but didn’t want to ‘play two matches and then return to the bench’, realising that more regular first-team action would help his development more. He’s been well served. Then, a Russian club offered US$400,000 for his transfer. In twelve months, his value has increased eightfold as a fantastic season personally culminated in a superb goal on the last day of the Clausura against Argentinos Juniors. Matheu leaves Independiente having scored the goal which was finally decisive in getting them into continental competition.
Clubs from Italy and Spain had been interested in Matheu to. To wit: Juventus; Genoa; Real Betis, Deportivo de La Coruña, and Racing Santander. Ultimately, though, the 23-year-old is going to Russia because ‘at international level they finished in the semi-finals [of Euro 2008] and attracted a lot of attention. Zenit [St. Petersburg] won the UEFA Cup. Russian football has turned into a very highly thought of league… As well as that, the coach [Rashid Rakhimov] knows a bit of Spanish, so I don’t think I’ll have too many problems adapting.’ Well, that’s a bonus.
Matheu now travels to Europe – first to Germany, where he’ll take his medical, and then on to the Russian capital. Having started with Independiente six years ago at the age of 17, he now embarks on a new stage of his career.
Is Matheu for real about moving to Russia!!!.
I know they did extremely well in the recent Euro and Zenit’s UEFA Cup success but we all know what has happen to Cavenaghi, Moralez & Rodriguez when they moved there.
Even Zenit did not bothered to use Chori Dominguez in their match against Rangers.
John, I don’t see any problem in Matheu going for Russia because, with all due respect, he’ll never be a world-class defender (in my opinion).
I don’t know if Cavenaghi is or will be World Class but when he moved to Russia he was the fastest to reach (I believe) 100 goals for River (I’m not sure about this fact, but I’m sure he reached a very important milestone when it comes to goalscoring prowess for River).
His career suffered a lot with that move and now he is slowly recovering after being completely out of the radar for quite some time.
With Matheu, I don’t think there’s anything wrong because he will earn, perhaps, 10 or 15 or even 30 times more than what he earns in Argentina and he’ll guarantee his future and that of his sons and grandsons with that sort of money.
Russia is a growing market and it’s a very valid option for a huge number of Argentine players that are not national team material or world class.
Is not like Matheu was being chased by Juventus or Real Madrid or Manchester United (or even Empoli, Getafe or Fulham, to name a few big and small Italian, Spanish and English clubs).
Also Zenit are in the Champions League group stage for next year and play the supercup vs. Manchester United. That’s probably more exciting than playing for Depor or Genoa… At least for next year…
Its a shame for Argentinian football that their better players even consider moving to Russia to play their football. However as a fan of football in eastern europe I feel that the Russian league should prove really interesting in the next few years as there are 4-5 main teams with alot of money to spend.
On a side note I would like to see the rule of 6-5 (local/foreign) used throughout the world as I think the standard of football would be fairer.