…Estonia will qualify for the European Championship play-off from next month? A few years ago, such a scenario was more than SF, but know it can become reality in just a few days. The Baltic country is on the second spot from group C, within just one more match day left. It is true that Estonia has played all its’ matches, but if Serbia doesn’t beat Slovenia on away field in its’ last group game, than the former country from USSR may face a historical challenge: the chance to qualify for the UEFA European Championship 2012! After exactly eight years from the day in which Latvia eliminated Turkey and made it to the final tournament from Portugal.
Estonia had already been qualified if it hadn’t been for that shameful 0-2 loss in Faroe! But, even so, their almost achievement should be attributed especially to one man: Konstantin Vassiljev, now the midfielder of Amkar Perm. He was born on 16th of August 1984 at Tallinn and after some spells at junior sides he joined Levadia Tallinn at the age of 19. He remained here for five seasons, before choosing to go and play into the Slovenian first league. Despite winning three Estonian titles and three national cups, at the end of 2007 he was relegated to the second team of Levadia! Konstantin was named captain of the squad at the beginning of that season but was punished after refusing to sign a contract extension with the team.
Finally, Vassiljev escaped and signed a contract with Nafta Lendava, a Slovenian first league team at which stated four seasons, playing 102 matches and scoring only 13 goals. Even so, he joined Koper, in the same country and after a short spell here, he joined the Russian squad, Amkar Pern, where, unfortunately he doesn’t appear too much. And how ironical is it now… He played more than four years in the championship of a country that now may help his national team to qualify for the EURO 2012 play-off!
Maybe you are wondering why do I insist so much on this 1,75 meters and 72 kilograms player… Well, just because he scored five goals from a total of 15 that he’s team managed during this campaign. And there aren’t too many if we consider that starting with 2006, when Konstantin played his first game for the national team, he only scored another nine, resulting a total of 14. And he did appear in 46 games! Unfortunately, his first international goal came in 2009, but after that he was the key man for Estonia greatest two results in all its history. First, it was the shocking 3-1 away victory at Serbia in this campaign and after that the goal and the assist in an incredible 2-0 win, in a friendly match, against Uruguay, in March this year, after less than 12 months from the time when the South-Americans were playing in the World Cup semifinal.
Now, this description doesn’t worth a lot, but if Serbia won’t beat Slovenia on Tuesday, Vassiljev will surely be a little hero and who knows what might happen with him if Estonia will go through qualifying to EURO 2012. It sounds unreal, but I’m sure that such things can happen. Why? Well, because in the playoff faze could be countries such are Belgium, Armenia, Montenegro, Scotland, Bosnia, Norway, Turkey, Hungary, Czech Republic or Ireland. There are better chances for Estonia to face one of these, but to play against tougher opponents like Sweden, Denmark, Croatia or even Portugal.