We recently caught up with defender Kire Ristevski to talk about his quick start with his new club team Slavia and his debut for the senior national team of Macedonia, among other things.
Kire Ristevski, who was born in October of 1990, signed with Bulgarian top division side Slavia during the winter transfer window earlier this year. Before Slavia, Ristevski had played for his hometown club Pelister and two Albanian clubs in Elbasani and Bylis. Kire had served as captain of Bylis before he made the transfer to Bulgaria’s championship.
Ristevski primarily plays the CB position these days, although earlier in his career he also played as a left-back. Kire was formerly capped for Macedonia’s various youth national teams, and also made his senior national team debut earlier this month in the friendly against Latvia.
We recently caught up with Ristevski to talk about his debut for Macedonia’s “A” national team, the differences between the leagues in Macedonia, Albania and Bulgaria, and his plans for the future.
Here is our question and answer session with Ristevski:
MF: Kire, tell us about your start in football? When did you start training with your hometown club Pelister and did you always see yourself pursuing a footballing career when you were younger?
KR: I started playing football when I was 7 years old, and always hoped that one day I would become a professional footballer.
MF: Thus far, you have played in Macedonia, Albania and Bulgaria. When it comes to the conditions and quality, how would you compare those three leagues?
KR: I have learned good things in each league where I have played, and it is understandable that there are differences between those 3 leagues. I would divide them in 3 tiers, Macedonian, Albanian and then the Bulgarian league. In Albania, the football that is played is more aggressive, physical and the motivation is good among the players regardless of which team is playing. The Bulgarian league, at least until now from what I have observed, is well played tactically and there are more quality players. The pace of the game is much faster and the conditions are better than the Macedonian and Albanian leagues.
MF: Despite being a defender, you have scored 2 goals in your first four games for Slavia. What has allowed you to quickly get off to a good start?
KR: It is because from the very first day I was well accepted by the players, coaches and management of the club. That gave me further motivation to give even more for this club. In saying that, this is now unexpected because we had two good months on winter preparations. We worked very hard and it was time for the results to follow as well. I believe in myself and have continued to build on the things that I achieved in the Albanian league. That has helped me with my transition to a new league. This is just the beginning and I would like to help my current club finish in the top 4 of the standings next season.
MF: You used to play for Macedonia’s youth national teams and earlier this month you debuted for the “A” national team in the friendly against Latvia. How was that feeling for you? From what you saw, how was the atmosphere and what are your thoughts on Boshko Gjurovski?
KR: Yes, formerly I played for the U21 team where I experienced good moments and learned a lot. We had a good team and achieved some good results which I’m sure could have been even better. I must mention Boban Babunski, an excellent coach who made it possible to achieve some of the successes. I am very thankful to him because he gave me a chance to showcase myself. As for Boshko Gjurovski, he is a very good coach and you can see from his first game in charge that we had a good game with an excellent result. The players were good. In the short time that we trained together, the players functioned well. Again, I would like to thank Boshko Gjurovski for giving me a chance to make my debut and I hope that I will be called up again the next time as well.
MF: What are your plans for the future? In what league do you see yourself in 3 years? Do you have any idol that you look up to in football?
KR: Like every player, I would like to play in the top leagues, like for instance Italy, Spain, Germany, England. I don’t want to talk much about the future but I will try to reach one of those better leagues. There are many good players who everyone tries to incorporate some of the things they do into their game, but I don’t really have any specific idol that I look up to.
Lastly, Kire Ristevski also wanted us to publish what Petar Miloshevski meant to him. Both Ristevski and Miloshevski hail from Bitola.
Ristevski told us the following, “I am very sad about Petar Miloshevski. When I signed with Slavia, he was the first one to offer me advice. He was always there to give me advice and to talk about anything. He helped me a lot and it is very sad that a man like that has left us. May he rest in peace.”