Georgian football fans and specialists know 19-year-old Nika Kacharava. Nika is one of the players of “Rubin” Kazan. He participates in Georgian U-19 team successfully. The author of this article witnessed how bravely he competed in the elite round of Euro 2013 in Belgium.
I took interview from Nika in Austria, one week before he departed for Tbilisi.
- Nika! I remember the play of your father – Kakhi who played for “Dinamo” Tbilisi in the Soviet Supreme League at the end of the 1980s. He also played for Cypriot “Olympiacos”, Turkish “Trabzonspor” and “Tennis Borussia” in the 1990s. You have not watched your father’s play (Nika was born on January 13, 1994, in Nicosia, Cyprus) but when you grew up, perhaps, you watched the video. Did your father play a key role in you as a football player or is it a merit of street and friends? I found out that you were fond of basketball.
- I was happy to watch some videos of my father but it is not enough to know how great football player my father was (laughs). I have heard a lot from my father. I would be happier if I find more important videos of my father. I grew up in sports family. My mother Lia Mikadze was a basketball player. My relative Lika Kajaia was a captain of the Georgian women’s team in the 1990s. Then, she was a referee. Now she is a head coach of “Sokhumi” U-20 team which won the Georgian Championship twice in row in 2012 and 2013. In 2011 “Sokhumi” became champion of Georgia among U-18 teams.
Lika told me to play basketball because my height 198 cm would have been good for my basketball career.
I respect Nika and I love basketball but I chose football and I do not regret it. I played for “Norchi Dinamoeli” Tbilisi and “Olympic preparation center”. Temur Tavchrelidze, Bagrat Chaduneli, Vasil Maisuradze, Nestor Mumladze were my coaches. Coach Giorgi Devdariani played a key role in my career.
In May 2011 I transferred to “Dinamo” Tbilisi. I played for Georgian U-17 team. Now I am a football player of the Georgian U-19 team. Last year I practiced in “Gagra”.
- How did you get in “Rubin”?
- Perhaps, specialists noticed me while playing for the Georgian youth team. Former football player Giga Gadelia recommended myself in “Rubin”. He played for different Russian clubs in 1990-2000. He knows the life of Russian football well. I was greeted warmly in “Rubin”. I played for “Rubin” reserve team and practiced with the main team.
On Monday, June 17, I am leaving for Munich from Tbilisi. Then, I will participate in the meeting of “Rubin” in Austria. I will stay there for one week and then, I will return to Kazan. Then, I will depart for Austria for another meeting of “Rubin”.
I returned from Belgium with the Georgian U-19 team on May 30. I practiced in Tbilisi and waited for Schengen Visa. I want to justify hopes of coaches and players of “Rubin”, including Saba Kvirkvelia.
The final stage of European Championship will take place in Lithuania in July. Our team wants to show good and beautiful football. We want to make Georgia and Georgian emigrants happy. We are doing our best for it.
- I think, Georgians living in Lithuania will support Georgians actively, like in Belgium.
- Yes, all members of our team and I remember their support in Bornem. I am thankful to them. Hopefully, our fans will be active in Lithuania too.
- What is the dream of football player Nika Kacharava?
- My dream is to become a member of the Georgian national team and to play at the final stage of European and World Championships. I think sooner or later it will happen.
Tengiz Pachkoria, specially for www.worldposrt.ge
Photos by Khatuna Gabitashvili