Pareiko to call it quits after EURO 2016 qualifiers
Estonian goalkeeping rock Sergei Pareiko, who first represented Estonia nearly 20 years ago, said this is his last qualifying cycle.
The 38-year-old will be dropped for Sunday's qualifier against San Marino. Pareiko told rus.err.ee that head coach Magnus Pehrsson decided there will be a change of guard in the team with younger players coming in. Pareiko has played 62 times for the national team, and recently moved back to Estonia to join local champions FC Levadia.
Mihkel Aksalu, who is no spring chicken at the age of 30, will start against San Marino. Estonia will have to win if the team stands any chance of qualifying.
“He [Pehrsson] said Aksalu needs official match experience. On one side I am not happy with the decision, but on the other hand, I understand that the coach is responsible for the result,” Pareiko said.
Speaking about Sunday's match, Pareiko said Estonia needs to score as fast as possible.
Estonia currently lies second-last ahead of San Marino in its qualifying group. Last year Estonia could only manage a 0-0 draw against the minnows, who had previously lost 61 matches in a row.
Estonia is on four points, two behind Lithuania and five behind Switzerland and Slovenia. England is top of the group with 15 points from five games, including a 1-0 win in Tallinn. Estonia is yet to play Switzerland, Lithuania and San Marino at home, and England and Slovenia away.
The game, played in Tallinn, will begin at 19:00 local time. Those who are located in Estonia, can watch the game live on ETV here.
The team for Sunday (name, date of birth, current club, caps/goals for national team):
Mihkel Aksalu (07.11.1984) – Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho (FIN) 15/0
Pavel Londak (14.05.1980) – FK Bodø/Glimt (NOR) 24/0
Sergei Pareiko (31.01.1977) – Tallinna FC Levadia 63/0
Vladimir Avilov (10.03.1995) – Tallinna FC Infonet 1/0
Markus Jürgenson (09.09.1987) – Tallinna FC Flora 4/0
Ken Kallaste (31.08.1988) – Nõmme Kalju FC 14/0
Gert Kams (25.05.1985) – Tallinna FC Flora 38/2
Ragnar Klavan (30.10.1985) – FC Augsburg (GER) 101/3
Dmitri Kruglov (24.05.1984) – Tallinna FC Levadia 97/3
Artur Pikk (05.03.1993) – Tallinna FC Levadia 3/0
Taijo Teniste (31.01.1988) – Sogndal Fotball (NOR) 37/0
Midfielders and strikers
Rauno Alliku (02.03.1990) – Tallinna FC Flora 6/0
Henri Anier (17.12.1990) – Dundee United FC (SCO) 22/6
Ilja Antonov (05.12.1992) – Tallinna FC Levadia 17/0
Aleksandr Dmitrijev (18.02.1982) – Tallinna FC Infonet 90/0
Artjom Dmitrijev (14.11.1988) – Nõmme Kalju FC 0/0
Maksim Gussev (20.07.1994) – Tallinna FC Flora 0/0
Joel Lindpere (05.10.1981) – Nõmme Kalju FC 98/7
Siim Luts (12.03.1989) – Tallinna FC Levadia 20/1
Karol Mets (16.05.1993) – Viking Stavanger (NOR) 16/0
Ats Purje (03.08.1985) – Nõmme Kalju FC 48/5
Sergei Zenjov (20.04.1989) – FK Torpedo Moskva (RUS) 42/7
Ingemar Teever (24.02.1983) – Tallinna FC Levadia 28/4
Konstantin Vassiljev (16.08.1984) – Piast Gliwice (POL) 77/19