Rashid Zaripov: « I lost my voice many times, when I was supporting our team for the last decade»


The brightest (and loudest) fan at the Neftekhim Arena is undoubtedly Rashid Zaripov. Now he is coordinator and organizer of our fan sector of «Neftekhimik». He will go down in history as one of the loyal fan. Before the start of the regular season, we interviewed Rashid and here are some points of our conversation.

 - How did your story as a fan begin?

 - Twelve years ago, I visited a hockey game with my friend. It was my first time when I came to a hockey game and I was excited. We sat in the first sector. Of course, initially I was shocked, but quickly wound up, apparently, because this is my favorite sport. I watched before the World Championships and the Olympic Games, hockey games in general ... And then, when I saw a hockey game in person, I got wound up! I began to attend all games; I looked closely at the fourth sector, where I have been sitting for 11 years. Even in Kazan fans call me “Mister from the 4th sector” (laughs).

- Did you want to change your side? To cheer for Ak Bars for example.

 - With all my heart, I am cheering for «Neftekhimik»! It is clear that there is Ak Bars, a top club in the KHL, the winner of Gagarin’s Cup. Nevertheless, «Neftekhimik» is my team and no matter whatever the opponent comes to us, I am always be for «Neftekhimik». In August at a friendly game, I shouted until I was hoarse and lost my voice. I recovered only two days later ... But it is does not matter, everything will be all right.
I am rooting for my team with all my heart and soul, and always try to be aware of all transfers. I personally know some of the team's hockey players, even those players who are no longer playing.

- Do you visit games with your family or you visit by yourself?

 - Once my wife got sick after the game with «Avangard» and she said to me that hockey is not her sport. Although it happens sometimes that, my daughter and her friends come with me to the games.

 - Is it your idea to make a poster with Sergey Gimaev?

 - Yes, I did it by my own hands. In general, the idea with the posters was not to turn players ' attention to the fans, but rather to motivate them. Moreover, the words that were written there are the right words.

- Would you like to do something new this year? Some kind of poster or banner...

 -Well, for the time being, I am collecting some ideas and maybe together with team we will do something interesting. If anyone has any creative ideas, then welcome! To date, I can only say that this year I will be head of the fan sector.

- Which players do you know personally?

 - Yes, sure. I worked for a long time in consumer electronics stores and sometimes team players came to me to buy something for themselves, so thanks to my previous job.

Last season, I got acquainted with Juuso Puustinen. At that time, I worked in the shopping mall «Olymp». Juuso was my regular customer. We talked through the google translate. At first, I tried to translate into Finnish, but he did not understand me and then we decided to communicate through a Russian-English translator. By the way, you would not believe for what he came to the store - for a bottlebrush! Yes, you get it right, the Finns wash and dispose of bottles for recycling.

By the way, Andrei Nestrashil was also my frequent "guest". There was also Sergey Konkov, he bought a desk lamp for a team’s base, and he read a lot. Actually, I am familiar with many players. Some of them I remember from childhood when I watched their games, some of them I met on the street.

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