President of Cosmos Futsal Club Boris Shipunov commented the high-profile signing of four Venezuelan players by his club and also stated that this event has much more significance than it seems.
Cosmos became the first club to bring South American players to the Estonian Championship. Tell us when this idea was born, was it difficult to bring it to life?
Indeed, we are the first who managed to bring foreigners of such a level and technical equipment to our country. The idea has been around for a long time, because we try to keep going forward and work on improving not only team results, but also on the development of our own players. We are confident that playing in the same team with strong partners will make our home-grown players stronger either.
Why did you choose Venezuela? In Europe, everyone is already used to Brazilians and Argentines in futsal, while Cosmos is opening a new market.
Correct, we are really opening a new market. Venezuela has a large number of talented players, they have a strong national team, which was clearly demonstrated by the recent World Cup in Lithuania. The Brazilian and Argentine markets are well-known, and probably, if we had decided to enter there, we would have to withstand competition from other clubs, in particular, on financial terms. As for our new guys, it is very interesting for them to come to Europe, it is a real challenge for them. It is clear that the title of champion of Estonia is not the ultimate goal, their ambitions are much higher. They want to show their skills and move to the top European clubs, this is a laudable aspiration.
For how long have the contracts been signed?
So far, we have agreed to work until the end of the season with the possibility of extension, depending on a number of factors. But I think we will keep them for a long time.
Can we say that the Estonian title is far from the main goal for this project was launched for?
Of course, we put the popularization of the whole sport at the forefront, both in our country and throughout the region. We want people to go to games, cheer for their local teams, watch broadcasts, since they are publicly available for free. And, as I have already said, we expect that attracting high-quality players from abroad will not only encourage children to play futsal, but also help Estonian futsal players to develop.
It’s probably worth getting that attention will now be focused on “Cosmos” not only in Estonia, but throughout the Baltic States, and even in Venezuela. What do you think how this will affect the current players of the club?
To be honest, the guys knew that we were working in parallel on the transfer market, so I don’t think anyone was surprised, they were ready for this. Now these are our realities: we have increased competition, and, as you know, it is the engine of progress. Everyone perceives it in their own way, but I am sure that all the current changes will only be for the good.