Igor Denisov, former captain of the Russian national football team and a player for Zenit, Dynamo, Anzhi and Lokomotiv, called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the war in an interview to journalist Nobel Arustamyan intended for his blog. The multiple champion of Russia in football admitted that he had even recorded a video appeal to the president of Russia, in which he was ready to get down on his knees, if only the head of state would call off the troops and stop the war. He had offered that video to the mass media, but no one would publish it.
«I even said this: 'I'm ready to kneel down in front of you. Me, a proud guy... That was on the third or fourth day. I was ready to get down on my knees in front of him to make it all stop. What is the life of one man, someone Denisov? There was no more pride, because I already had an idea of where it was all going. But, unfortunately, no one posted it,» the former captain of the Russian national team said.
The athlete also admitted he was scared to post and record a video message with an anti-war appeal, but he «couldn't keep quiet.»
«I'm a little scared even now. But I can't help but say it. Again, I'm not hiding anywhere, I'm not going anywhere - I don't want to. But how can I not tell you if I feel that way? You know, maybe for someone who thinks differently I say silly things, but for me - I think I have to speak out,» the football player says.
Commenting on the February 24 events, Denisov says he was in total shock from what happened and could not eat and sleep properly. «I am a very sensitive person... I can't kill a fly, so to speak. But for me those events are a disaster. A complete horror. I don't know, maybe I will be put in jail or killed for these words, but I'm telling it like it is,» the ex-captain says. The footballer also says he doesn't understand this war, and no one he knows can explain what it's for.
«Maybe it's because I'm not well-read, maybe it's because I don't know history well, but I don't know. I'm against it. I'm against it when people die,» the athlete states.
Denisov also says he can't imagine his life outside Russia. He says he tried to live in Europe for a while, but realized it was «not his thing.» Moreover, Denisov insists he wants «normal living conditions in Russia.» Answering the question about real estate abroad, the ex-captain says that he put his house in Spain up for sale.
Igor Denisov is one of the most titled footballers in the history of Russia. He has won the Russian Football Championship four times, and together with Zenit he won the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. In 2012 he was named Footballer of the Year by the Russian Football Union (RFU).