Caparrós changed our mentality, Armenia aims at Euro 2024, football chief says

Ֆootball in Armenia has hit a growth spurt in recent years, Armen Melikbekyan, President of the Football Federation of Armenia, said in an interview with MARCA.

 The arrival of Joaquín Caparrós in 2020, within the Spanish landing in the Federation, boosted a team that won their Nations group and was close to the qualifying playoffs for the Qatar World Cup 2022.

“We have made important changes in our structure and we are on the right track, “says Armen Melikbekyan.

He said the national team is in the midst of major institutional changes and attached importance to the cooperation with Spanish specialists “We have brought in many specialists from Spain for different areas, not just coaches, since we signed Ginés Meléndez in 2019, a person with a lot of experience. As technical director, he began to make structural decisions.,” Melikbekyan noted.

Speaking about the achievements of the national team, the FFA President said “for two years, we had a nine-game unbeaten streak that was the best in our history.”

“We were in group C of the Nations League, we won it and went up to B League. In addition, we started the qualification for the Qatar World Cup by beating Liechtenstein (0-1), Iceland (2-0) and Romania (3-2 ) and being leaders. In the end, we finished fourth, but we were close to the playoff for the World Cup. It will serve us as experience to continue building our future. In addition, we are investing a lot in futsal and women’s football. Developing it is very important,” Armen Melikbekyan added.

He said that the goal is to fight to be in Euro 2024. “We believe that it is possible. It will be difficult for a small Federation like Armenia, but it is our goal and we are working towards it.”

Asked about the greatest contribution that Caparrós has made to Armenian football, the FFA President said: “Our mentality has changed. He came in a difficult period, before starting the confinement for the covid-19 in March 2020. And although he could not train or play friendlies at the beginning, we won the Nations League group. He did it at a difficult time not only because of the coronavirus, but also because of the war.”

“Joaquín convinced us that we could do better than before. And although the latest results have not been so positive, we are in the right direction to form a team of European level that can fight against any team,” Melikbekyan added.

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