Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is so happy to be playing in England
Pavel Pogrebnyak has hailed English football as "paradise" after making an impressive start to his career at Reading.
By Juha Pal
Last Updated: 08/09/12 9:07pm
The 28-year-old Russia international made an instant impact in the Premier League during a loan spell at Fulham last season in which he scored six goals in 12 games.
And the former Stuttgart man netted against Chelsea in his second game for the Royals.
It is no surprise to Pogrebnyak that he is enjoying his football having been an admirer of the English game since he was a youngster.
"My dream has always been to play in the Premier League," he told www.sports.ru.
"At the end of the 90s I liked watching English football very much so I wanted to sign in England but I didn't think it would happen so late. But now I'm here and I'm happy about it.
"The first time I watched English football (live) was in 2001 or 2002. I decided to go to a Premier League game (with a friend).
"We were both Manchester United fans and our favourite players - Giggs, Scholes, Beckham - were running around. That's why I always try to get the No 7 shirt.
"It was impossible to get a ticket to the games of Manchester United so we went to a Chelsea-Newcastle game. Without (Roman) Abramovich and the star players Chelsea weren't such a big team as they are now."
Asked why he preferred English football, Pogrebnyak explained: "Because of the speed, fights and tough play. As a striker I always liked crosses from the wings.
"When I was sitting in front of the television in Russia I was amazed to see when someone heads the ball after a big jump or started to dribble, it was very fascinating for me to see.
"Scoring a goal like this and then running to the fans - it's like paradise for me.
"In Germany the stadiums are packed and the infrastructure is good. But I couldn't become one with the rest.
"Here you don't have time for the training - game, regenerating exercise, training and game again.
"In England you're tired because you play football frequently, but in Germany you're tired because you train as much as a horse. But here everything is a joy and a satisfaction."