Saba Chincharauli: My father was a football player and I chose the same way

ავტ.: თაიმერი აპრილი 23, 2018 18:24

Saba Chincharauli: My father was a football player and I chose the same way

Recently, the playing of Saba Chimcharauli who is a player of Georgian National Team U-17 and U-16 and defender of Belgian juvenile team Waasland Beveren is in the spotlight of football fans and specialists. Saba has all necessary skills to become a good football player in a couple of years (he turned to 16 in March).

The author of the article met Saba at first in 2013 when he was supporting Georgian National Team U-19 during the Elite-rounds in Belgium-Bornem and Westerloo along with his father Gia Chincharauli, a former forward of Georgian National and USSR U-18 team and vice-champion of Europe in 1984. At that time Saba was 11 year-old and was playing for Mechelen Club at Belgium Children league, later on he moved to “Gent” and in 2017 in Waasland Beveren Juvenile League.

We witnessed Saba’s playing in Georgian National Team U-16 and U-17 last and this year who made a very good impression on fans, coaches and experts. He mentioned in an interview given to the Georgian Public Broadcaster in March: “I was born and grown up in Belgium, I greatly respect Belgium and Belgians but I would like to note that I am Georgian and it is a great happiness and responsibility for me to play for Georgian National Team”.
Have a conversation with me Saba underlined that his father played a huge role in his career. “My father made me love football; I had been looking at the photos of my father since childhood where Gia is fighting on the field. We used to visit Georgia in summer and his friends used to tell me how greatly he had been playing football that he was a vice-champion of Europe and top scorer”, – Saba says. “My dad was a footballer and I followed his path. I am playing in the defense, my height is my advantage (192 cm) but in case of need I also play in the attack” – Saba discloses that his dream is to play in the highest league of Belgium, become a member of Georgian National Team and qualify for the European and World championships along with the national team.

His father Gia Chincharauli the forward of Georgian National and USSR team and the Europe’s vice champion among U-18 teams has the same desire. Being in Belgium May 2013 I (the autor of this article) was attended and had to report the elite-round of the sixth group of Europe Championship of U-19 teams, Irakli Zhghenti, one of the staffs of Georgia’s Embassy to Belgium told that he wanted me to know veteran Georgian footballer who had been living in Melechen since 1997. When I heard his surname Chincharauli I could not conceal emotions – I met a man in Belgium who I finely remembered from the Georgian and USSR juvenile teams in 1980. Since 2013 I met Gia for a number of times including the August 2015 in Tbilisi where he arrived for a special occasion UEFA Super Cup match between Barcelona and Sevilla. I interviewed him after the game regarding the record breaking score (5:4 in favor of Barcelona).
I contacted Gia Chincharauli in Mechelen a couple of days ago; we started talking about his son and finished with commemorating his younger years – Your son is in the highest juvenile league of Belgium and included in Georgian team U-17 and U-16. Are you satisfied by his playing?

– I live in Belgium since 1998 I also brought my wife and daughter from Georgia. I live in Mechelen together with my family. My daughter is 20 years old and son Saba was born in Belgium. He turned to 16 in March… Saba was playing in the children league “KV Mechelen”, later in “Gent” and since 2017 in the juvenile highest league Waasland Beveren. Saba has got all conditions at Waashland Beveren in order to become a successful footballer. He has good and attentive coach and teammates. His dream is to become the player of the great team of this club in the near future…To assess the level and skill of Saba it’s uncomfortable from my side, it will be better if specialists or coaches do it… Apart from being a father I am a good advisor and friend of my son as well. In the late 1980s, When I was at his age there was no one who could give me a good advice as a player and therefore I lost my chance to be included in a solid team. I am trying to be a good advisor for Saba. Last year, in 2017 Saba was invited to the Georgian National Team up to 17. Saba was 15 year-old at that time. It seems Giorgi Nemsadze former Captain and acting chief coach of Georgian National Team heard about Saba and invited him. In March of the present year, Saba played as a member of the national team in the elite-round of Europe championship U-17 in Poland; he debuted in the official match between Georgia and Poland in the last part of the game (the match finished 2:2); he played full-time in the next match against Ireland. Saba demonstrated his skills well in both matches and deserved high estimations from the specialists… Saba was called in Georgia’s team up to 16 by Zviad Jeladze a head coach of U-16 and the former defender of Georgian National Team. In the month of February of the present year, Saba played a sparing-match against Luxemburg (2:1 in favor of Georgia). On April 10-12 Georgia U-16 had matches against Turkey U-16 in Istanbul. It is a kind awkward situation to assess my own son, let fans and coaches assess his playing. I can say only that hard work is one of the most important factors in football along with the talent. I hope Saba will make his team Waasland Beveren, Georgian National Team and fans happy for his successful playing.

– Mr. Gia! Old football fans are well aware of your playing when you became Europe’s vice-champion and top scorer in 1984 among U-18. How did you manage to be included in Georgian national and USSR juvenile team?
-I was born in Tianeti (50 km away from Tbilisi), I grew up in Tbilisi I had been studying and playing at the well-known Football School No. 35. My first coach was Shukri Chumburidze. In 1981, Georgian Juvenile Football Team U-15 under instruction of Joni Janelidze became the winner of the tournament among the Soviet Union republics and I became the top scorer of the tournament. The representatives of USSR juvenile team noticed me during the tournament. The chief coach of the team was Anatoli Bishovets former forward of «Dinamo» Kiev and USSR Team and participant of Mexico World Cup 1970 (he was coaching the juvenile team in 1982-1984). He invited me in the team where I was playing for three years. We won a number of international tournaments and became the Europe’s vice-champions up to 18 in 1984. The Europe’s championship was held in the Federation of German Republic. The final was held in the city Wilms in the vicinity of Stuttgart – in May 1984. We lost the final against West German. At that time, USSR U-18 included Bublauskas from Lithuania, Skliarov, Kuzhlev, Gagloev (Russia), Mirzoian, Karapetian (Armenia). My dream team was «Dinamo» Tbilisi (the team won Cup of the Cups of the European Countries in 1981) and my dream came true after some time when the coach of the team and legendary player Davit Kipiani (1951-2001) invited me from Locomotive Tbilisi to «Dinamo» Tbilisi. The team’s coach was the brilliant player Manuchar Machaidze. I was 18 years old then. Mr. Davit Kipiani (he was a member of the European team, 1977-1982 who was regarded as one of the most technical footballer in Europe) was treating young people attentively and warmly including me. It was not easy to be included in the main team and I was achieving my goal step by step. However, in 1985, Davit Kipiani was asked to leave his position of the chief coach and Nodar Akhalkatsi was retuned as a coach in «Dinamo» (1938-1998). I hoped that the experienced coach like Mr. Nodar Akhalkatsi would allow me to play in the main team but unfortunately it did not happened due to a number of factors. I had to leave the team. This happened at the time when I was invited in the main team of the CSK and «Dinamo» Moscow by coaches who were aware of the level of my playing from the matches I played in Georgian national and USSR teams.

– And you did not join Moscow clubs? You could try your efforts there and when you gained fame you would have been asked to return to «Dinamo» Tbilisi.

– I did not have any good advisor around me. I was thinking if I had left Georgia and joined Moscow clubs fans and my relatives would have misunderstood me. Like many Georgian young people I also wanted

to play in «Dinamo» Tbilisi which was the best team in Georgia, and admired due to its beautiful playing across the world. That is why I denied to join Moscow CSK and «Dinamo». CSK’s chief coach Albert Shesterniov (1941-94), the former captain of CSK, and participant of world cups 1966 and 1970, was inviting me, he called me for several times in Tbilisi and told me: “Gia join my team, let yourself play and we’ll see”. Shesterniov was the chief coach of CSK in 1982-1984; later on, he had been heading CSK Football School for two years. Shesterniov was inviting me in Moscow but I politely said no because I wanted to play in «Dinamo» Tbilisi. In 1985 I happened to join “Ararat” in Yerevan Armenia instead of CSK and «Dinamo» Tbilisi.
Did Ararat invite you?

– No, I was called to the army, in an ordinary, non-sportiv military unit in Armenia. I served two years in the army where I did not play football at all. After that I played in “Shevardeni” Tbilisi, Gori “Dila” USSR second league. I started to play in Georgia’s national championship (1990) in the composition of Gori “Dila” after that in Khashuri “Iveria”, Gurjaani “Alazani”. In 1994 I departed for Germany where I was playing in the local team of the lower league. I had a chance to join the second bundes league team “Nürnberg” but I injured and finished my career at the age of 28. In 1996 I returned to Georgia and got married to Tamila Kvintradze. In 1998 I left for Belgium and a year later I took my wife and daughter with me. Saba was born in Belgium. We have everyday contacts with Georgia and football circles. We hope that someday Georgian national team will be qualified for the final of European and World cups. Georgia has rich football traditions and despite the difficulties I hope Georgian football will be revived and gain fame at the international arena.

Tengiz Pachkoria

Photo by Khatuna Gabitasvhili and by Chincharauli family album

ავტ.: თაიმერი აპრილი 23, 2018 18:24