||Eve mal isechok shto go imashe vo vest
ИНТЕРВЈУ НА ЃОРЃИ ХРИСТОВ ЗА "САНДЕЈ ТАЈМС"
Без коментар за девојките од Данфермлајн
Трансферот во шкотскиот премиерлигаш Данфермлајн повторно го направи нашиот фудбалер Ѓорѓи Христов интересен за британските медиуми. Весникот "Тајмс" во своето неделно издание објави мегаинтервју со македонскиот интернационалец.
На Островот се уште го паметат битолчанецот по неговата несреќно преведена изјава дека девојките од Барнсли се грди и неизбежно беше прашањето за девојките од Данфермлајн.
- Да бидам искрен, не ги гледам многу, бидејќи ретко излегувам. Ќе морам подобро да ги видам за да направам споредба меѓу англиските и шкотските девојки. Сепак, мојата девојка е тука и сега сум многу посериозен, отколку што бев пред осум години - одговори дипломатски Христов.
Големите проблеми со повредите го оддалечија ексиграчот на Барнсли од репрезентацијата, за која има 47 настапи (17 гола) и тој веќе размислува за повлекување од националниот тим:
- Можеби сега ќе имав 80 или 90 настапи, но наскоро ќе морам да го донесам конечното решение, бидејќи сакам да бидам максимално подготвен и сконцентриран на мојата клупска кариера. Со моето колено не можам да играм и за репрезентацијата и за клубот. Не е голема разликата меѓу 47 и 57 настапи. Мислам дека направив доволно за мојата земја, но, сепак, ќе почекам до летото да решам. Горд сум на мојата земја и горд сум што играв за неа. Немаме многу играчи кои играат во странство, па ние сме амбасадори на нашата држава.
Христов имал двајца херои во детството - Дарко Панчев и Марко ван Бастен. На своето репрезентативно деби му се исполни сонот да заигра покрај еден од нив.
- Панчев имаше 32 или 33 години, а јас 19 кога дебитирав против Ерменија на гости. Беше 2:2 и јас постигнав гол. Ја пеев националната химна и мојот херој од детството стоеше веднаш до мене. Претходно, ја гледав неговата генерација само на телевизија и во весниците - се присетува напаѓачот на Данфермлајн.
Другиот сон од детството - да ја претставува Македонија на некое големо натпреварување, најверојатно, никогаш нема да стане реалност:
- Сигурен сум дека тоа нема да ми се случи мене, но се надевам дека тоа ќе и успее на следната македонска генерација.
A eve go i originalot:
April 17, 2005
‘I can’t tell how the Dunfermline girls compare to Barnsley’s. My girlfriend is here now’
Beating Rangers today and guiding Dunfermline to safety will be as hard as winning over Barnsley’s women for Georgi Hristov
Georgi Hristov still keeps a copy of the magazine. It contains perhaps the most notorious, not to mention hilarious, lost-in-translation interview British football has seen, and one which has been stubbornly synonymous with the 29-year-old Macedonia striker ever since. He gave it as a homesick 21-year-old to a Yugoslav magazine shortly after moving from Partizan Belgrade to Barnsley for #163;1.5m in 1997. Asked if he had found a girlfriend, Hristov patriotically replied that he preferred the women of Belgrade or Skopje, the main city of Macedonia, to those he had seen in Barnsley. Several months later, and feeling much more settled in Yorkshire, his comments came back to bite him, translated into English headlines as “Barnsley girls are far uglier than the ones back home, who don’t drink as much beer.”
Hristov laughs at the memories of how anxious the natives were thereafter to persuade him of their charms. He confirms the story of one buxom lady, who lifted her top and invited him to peruse the evidence presented with the immortal line: “Oi, you Macedonian b******, fancy some of this?” Another offered to put herself at his disposal in a television vox pop on the subject. “She said, ‘I am available for him for the next 24 hours and he will change his mind’,” recalls Hristov, “but other girls said, ‘He has to look first in the mirror and then talk about us’.” A brief fling with Miss Barnsley ended acrimoniously, too. “His view is that women are only good for one thing and he takes advantage,” said 30-year-old Tina Powers when they broke up three months after meeting at the contest Hristov judged.
“I became famous for that,” says Hristov. “When they asked me what do you think about the girls, I said the girls from Macedonia are, for me, the best. I still keep that magazine and if you read it you can see that it is totally different. After, I understood what is the way of the professional footballer, particularly in Britain and particularly in a small town like Barnsley, but on the other side I was single, I was 21, so I lived my life.”
He speaks with a twinkle in his eye but holding, ominously, an ice pack against the back of his right knee as he sits not far from the dressing rooms at East End Park. He has had three separate operations on this joint, two, in Sheffield and Switzerland, after originally sustaining it in a game for Barnsley at Crewe on August 15, 1998. Another, just over a year ago, came after damaging it again while playing for FC Zwolle in Holland. This case history explains why he was put in front of Davie Hay by a Dutch agent as Dunfermline’s manager searched for strikers during the last transfer window. Hristov’s involvement since has been limited by a hamstring injury, but he returned to the first-team in last Saturday’s defeat by Dundee and followed that with 75 minutes for the reserves on Tuesday. He will feature at some stage against Rangers today, according to Hay.
The reciprocal arrangement is that Hristov will recover his fitness while scoring some goals to help his new club out of relegation trouble. An artificial pitch, though, is surely not the ideal surface during convalescence from knee trouble? “To be honest, I didn’t know that when I signed. All players want to play on grass, we love to play on grass, but what can you do? The club made the decision and we have to accept it. On the other side, in the winter time in Scotland we are lucky that we have this kind of pitch and can play and train. It was a long time I was out of the football, more than one year, but I have come back and now I feel good. I know I am not yet at the level I was at before but I can see every day that I am improving.” He does not know what will happen in the summer and has learned not to worry too much about tomorrow. “In my life and in my football career, I never make a plan for a long time. My life experiences say just enjoy today.”
His injury problems have also curtailed an international career in which he has scored 17 times in 47 appearances for his country. He has not played for the national team since scoring in the 2-1 home loss to England of September 2003, however, and is not sure if he will again. “Maybe now I could have had 80 or 90 caps but soon I need to make my final decision about the national team and whether I will stop playing, because I want to keep my fitness and concentration for my club career, with my knee I cannot play in both ways. It doesn’t change much if I have 47 or 57 caps. I did, I think, enough for my country but I will wait to the summer to make my decision. I am proud of my country and proud that I played for it. We don’t have a lot of players who play abroad, so we are the ambassadors for our country.”
Hristov comes from Bitola, Macedonia’s second city, which is five miles from the border with Greece and 30 from the birthplace of Alexander the Great who, along with Mother Teresa, is Macedonia’s most famous figure. “I lived there until I was 18, when I joined Partizan Belgrade and signed my first professional contract.” He grew up with two heroes, Darko Pancev, the Red Star Belgrade striker who destroyed Graeme Souness’s Rangers in a European Cup match in 1990, and Marco van Basten. He later played beside Pancev for Macedonia after the break-up of Yugoslavia. “He was 32 or 33 and I was 19 when I made my debut against Armenia away. It was 2-2 and I scored. I was singing the national anthem and my childhood hero was standing right next to me. Before that, I only saw his generation on TV or in newspapers.” Another childhood dream, representing Macedonia in the finals of a major tournament, has proved more elusive. “I am sure that will not happen now for me but I hope it can for the next Macedonian generation.”
It is not merely a passive wish. Hristov is now the hero to Macedonian children that Pancev was to him, and he has established his own football academy in Bitola to help local youngsters follow in his footsteps. “It started two years ago and now it’s about 200 children. I never take the training with the kids, I just arrange for them to have a foundation, to be everything that they can be. The rich kids never play football and I think that’s true everywhere. The rich kids play cricket or golf or with horses. I want them to have everything that the kids have everywhere in Europe. There’s been a lot of change in the last 10 years because we are a small country and, after we achieved independence, we had to grow up. In the past, we did everything together with Yugoslavia. Now we are separate and do things for ourselves. If you see the situation 10 years ago, now it is much, much better but still with big problems. It is a big problem that we have people with a lot of money and others with none.”
With this background, he has few grumbles about the hand football has dealt him. “You get one chance in your life to play in the Premiership but it would have been better to have been 25 or 26 or to be with a club in the middle of the table who are not struggling against relegation. Barnsley were fighting for every point, I was 21 and they had paid a lot of money for me. But if the same thing happened tomorrow, I’d do it again.”
After Barnsley, he headed to Holland, where he was coached by Johan Neeskens at NEC Nijmegen and partnered Jack de Gier, who had a brief spell at Dunfermline, up front. Although Nijmegen reached the Uefa Cup during his three years, he admits most of his career has been spent with clubs who are battling relegation. This may come in handy, given Dunfermline’s current predicament. “I want to help this club, they deserve to be in the Premierleague. If you see our results recently, it is strange how often we went up 1-0 and then lose or draw. The major problem is the mentality of the Scottish football. Supporters expect if it’s 1-0, to make it 2-0, and if it’s 2-0, to make it 3-0. In this situation you have to be smart and calm. I know we have to play with heart, at this time of year you really have to play with your head. Every minute, every second, every shot at goal is important.”
Being back in Britain has allowed Hristov to go back to Barnsley twice with Anna, his Macedonian girlfriend, most recently just a fortnight ago to visit old friends that he has stayed in touch with. Evidence that the translated faux pas has not left any lasting stain.
Finally, the question that has to be asked. What does he make of Fife’s females? “To be honest, I don’t see much because I haven’t been out. I’ll have to see to make a comparison between the English and the Scottish but my girlfriend is here and I am more serious than I was eight years ago, I stay more in the house.”
Hristov has learned English in the intervening years, and diplomacy.