In February Valerij Gazzajev, Russian football legend, checked in to our Carlsbad Plaza hotel. A former coach of CSKA Moscow, currently preparing to take over Ukrainian Shakhtar Donetsk, arrived in Karlovy Vary at the suggestion of his wife. "I am inborn conservative and rarely change my favourite place of relaxation. In the past ten years I went to the Kislovodsk spa in Russia. But it was hard to resist a visit to Karlovy Vary – a city of curative springs, rich history, beautiful architecture and nature."
How do you choose your hotel?
I always choose a high-standard hotel, corresponding to my position. I consider everything in detail – the level of comfort, services, quality of food and spectre of additional services. Your hotel fully meets my requirements. Moreover, there is a physiotherapeutic centre, wellness, highly qualified medical personnel with individual approach to guests and you also offer both traditional and modern treatment methods. It is good that you can find a hotel offering such a great selection of procedures.
What are your favourite spa procedures?
Russian sauna is surely the best. It is a kind of rite without which I cannot imagine relaxation in Russia. When choosing other procedures, I let specialists give advice and rely on their recommendations. As regards the procedures I tried at your hotel, I like baths and gas injections. I can feel their positive results already now. The functions of my organism have improved, the blood pressure has stabilized, the nervous system has settled and I feel relaxed in general. I personally would recommend pneumopuncture, relaxation baths and cryotherapy to everybody.
Have you tasted all springs in Karlovy Vary?
Yes, of course. And I use them according to my doctor's recommendation three times a day. In the past, long before the city was founded, people allegedly attached curative effects to hot springs in the area of current Karlovy Vary, but the first historically preserved therapy should have been at the end of the 14th century when Emperor Charles IV tried to heal his aching feet in one of the mineral springs.
Are you able to forget football during spa procedures for a while at least?
Football is my life and I think of it even if I take a rest. Surely, I also think of my family, children, granddaughter, I really wish to take a break from my duties, but it is not possible in fact. The main task of my work is to watch what is going on around me. You know, I am like that, I am always interested in new events in sports. There is not so much time between trainings, so I have to find a compromise now and to find time for my family and active relaxation – I am interested in tennis, swimming, running, skiing...
Let me ask you about football – when will the Russian league be as popular as the English or Spanish leagues?
We can speak about the advancement of football in Russia already now. Have a look at the results of our clubs achieved in a couple of past years: The bronze medal at the European Football Cup and CSKA and Zenit won the international UEFA cup.
You will start to work as the coach of Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer. Who in your opinion is the best football star you would like to have in your team?
In my opinion, the best footballer of all times and countries is Pelé. He is the football king without any doubt.