Valbuena still seeking top form

AFPAugust 18, 2014
French football player Mathieu Valbuena attends a press conference as he begins a contract with Russian club Dynamo Moscow on August 9, 2014 in Moscow
French football player Mathieu Valbuena attends a press conference as he begins a contract with Russian club Dynamo Moscow on August 9, 2014 in Moscow (AFP Photo/)

Moscow (AFP) - Dynamo Moscow's France international Mathieu Valbuena was left to rue a couple of clear scoring opportunities in his side's 2-1 victory over Arsenal Tula in the Russian Premiership on the weekend.

Valbuena, who joined Dynamo from Marseille in a three-year deal earlier this month, added that he was still some way away from full fitness after featuring in four games during Les Bleus' run to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil last month.

"I feel satisfied as I made two assists that helped my team to win," the midfielder told the press after the match at Tula on Sunday.

"But at the same time I'm a bit upset at missing a couple of clear chances to score.

"Hopefully, I'll manage to score my first goal in Russia in the next match. I'm still on the way to my form. I'd say that my current physical fitness is at about 70 percent."

On Sunday Brazilian full-back Douglas put Dynamo in front with a header from Valbuena's corner in the 31st minute, while German striker Kevin Kuranyi made it 2-0 for the Muscovites after a free-kick from the 29-year-old Frenchman.

Valbuena said he was thrilled with the high level of competition in the Russian Premier League.

"I'm just discovering the Russian league for myself," he said.

"After the derby clash with former champions Spartak it was very interesting to play two newly promoted teams (Ufa and Arsenal Tula). Surprisingly both of them played physically tough but very creative football.

"I'm optimistic that my time in the Russian league will be an interesting one."