#14: The Ring of Fire with Sigurvegari


TIA's Redkopi
Ad-free Member
Jul 7, 2007
The Ring of Fire with Sigurvegari

It's been an interesting few days, there was heartbreak for Sadio Mane in the African Cup of Nations final while Liverpool continued their pre-season tour of the United States last night with a controversial 2-1 defeat to Sevilla at Fenway Park.

To discuss this week's action, the Ring of Fire travels over to Belarus as thrown into the 'Ring of Fire' this week is TIA Forum Member @Sigurvegari


Your TIA Username: @Sigurvegari
Location :
Minsk, Belarus

You and Liverpool FC
Favourite Current LFC Player :
Favourite all-time LFC Player : Daniel Agger
Favourite all time Reds match : Barcelona 1-2 after Riise/Bellamy fight
Funniest moment following the Reds : Origi's goal vs. Everton

And the rest:
Favourite non-LFC Player :
Favourite other clubs (if any) : AS Roma
Other sports/hobbies/past times : Basketball, Football Manager geek in the past.


Next month will see you a member of the ThisIsAnfield Forums for ten years.... First up, tell us the significance behind your username Sigurvegari...

My nickname takes its origin from my childhood, when I was in love with Icelandic group Sigur Ros. So i decided that i will be some king of Icelandic viking and my name has to be translated (don't laugh, i know it was a stupid idea). So the meaning of my name Nikita is winner/victor and after using Google translate - Sigurvegari was born!

How does a young lad growing up in Minsk come to support Liverpool Football Club?

My story about supporting Liverpool is as crazy as my nickname. My granddad was a passionate football fan. He was supporting CSKA Moscow and liked to tell my different stories about this team and its players. Not in a football sense like results, victories and rivalries, but proper romantiс ballads about lives, struggles, chances and joy. So after a while it was not a question what sport i was going to follow. After that i started to follow football and asked a lot of questions about different teams. First football tournament that i watched from the beginning till the end was World Cup 1998 and you know which teenager exploded there.

But the main occasion for me to choose Liverpool was much more random. At that time some blessed entrepreneur decided to sell in Belarus (?) postcards (??) with photos (???) of Liverpool (!) and Newcastle (????) players. So my inner collector started to spend all my pocket moneys on this cards. And man it was fascinating - Fowler with broken nose and his cocaine sniff, young Owen from the World Cup, McManaman. I knew that they were cool. I SAW that they were cool. Shearer was ordinary.

So, i decided to be a Liverpool fan and starter my journey of research.

After some time i had my favorite player in Fowler - he was such a rebel in those newspapers i was reading (instant one-love). Had high hopes about young Gerrard and superstar Owen. I even managed to watch Liverpool-Alaves final (english premier league was not that popular on local TV at it was all about Italian Calcio). My first t-shirt was Baros of Czech Republic. So on millenium i was all about Liverpool but with main issue - i hadn’t seen them much)

Tell us a little bit about where you live and what's it like to support Liverpool in Minsk? Have Liverpool got a big following in Belarus...

Well Minsk is the capital of Belarus. Geographically we are the centre of Europe, but generally Belarus is a former Soviet Union Republic with its historical features and problems, but with good travel and IT potential. I even work as a sales director at Apple Premium Reseller i-Store - like in proper European country. (At least we are trying to be).

As for following Liverpool - it was grown and educated on our first russian-language web site liverpoolfc.ru. It is common for former soviet republics to be connected in cultural ways, so all the boys from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and others - we all shared our passionate love and experience on this portal. At first there were annual meetings in one or another country, then local fan-clubs have grown and with modern internet, broadcasting and globalization, more and more local fans are trying to make it official and right now Belarusian fan-club is on its way to become official for Liverpool FC.

We have appropriate place for matchdays, people make away trips to support the team, so everything as it has to be. Local football is not very popular as far as i can see. So Liverpool takes its fair share in hearts of fans rivaling with likes of Real, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus, Bayern and so on. Even among my closest friends we have Liverpool, Real Madrid, AS Roma, Inter and Milan. So the Champions league in 2017/2018 was rather stressful for our friendship.

You are an active user and author on the official Liverpool Russian-language supporters web-site... Tell us more....

I registered on this site in 2007, when i was 19. My nickname was Scouserborn.BY. I started to share my opinion on daily basis, share some facts and articles from english press. And of course tried to explained people how they should support and behave themselves. So i was banned from time to time).

But you know how it happens. When your life is good - you write a message, when your life is bad - you make a song. So when things at Liverpool became not so rosy i started to make my first attempts at writing. At first matchday reviews, then some abstract articles about being a fan, about hard decisions of a manager and so on. It was a good way to let people know what i was feeling without being offensive. It was the time when forums were sources of knowledge and experience - so i shared mine. Some said i was not that bad. It was good enough to be noticed by guys (ironically from Belarus), who decided to make a podcast and share opinion in audio format.

Not many of our forum members will be aware that you are also heavily involved in a Russian-language podcast about Liverpool with podcast audience listenership growing every year...

It was founded in august 2014 by users of liverpoolfc.ru as an alternative and new way to make a season review. So the most creative and experienced users grouped together and made first pilot episode. It was not planned to be very frequent, but as it appeared there where a lot of people eager to give it a try and be a guest - so it became periodical. I was a guest by myself, but somehow became a part of this group.

After the first year we decided to make it more independent from the official community because of not very popular opinions about some things and players - so Lucas-Show was created. We learned different podcasting platforms, added podcast in apple store, made separate web-site (lucas-show.ru), started telegram channel for news/statistics/links and group for our listeners.

Now it has 4 weekly sessions, more that 3k listeners from all over the word and some hardcore community in our group. But as i’ve already stated - when things in Liverpool go rosy you don’t have much to moan about - so after winning the CL, the podcast is on pause and everyone has taken a break.

With the Reds having an extremely busy season, the triumvirate of Mane, Firmino and Salah will need some cover leading the line.... From what you have seen in pre-season so far, who provides cover to the front three and are you satisfied?

This is always a matter of how you look at it. When we all trying to play football manager before the start of the season and dreaming of 2 comparable squads available we usually distort the word «cover». For example we have our front 3 in Mane, Salah, Firmino. Do we have adequate cover in Origi/Brewster/Shaqiri? Absolutely not, but only in case all 3 are unavailable. Are we favorites to win matches with Origi/Firmino/Salah, or Mane/Firmino/Shaqiri, or Mane/Brewster/Salah? Absolutely yes.

Speaking of that I will understand Klopp’s decision to trust his squad members in Origi and Shaqiri and upcoming talent in Brewster, but I still think, that club growth is all about momentum. And after 2 CL finals and so many top clubs in deep transition - we have to use this time to invest more and have better cover, especially for our wide forwards. (Unless we are waiting for Mbappe next year of course)

What three things have you learned from Liverpool's pre-season so far?

First thing is not new, but still - i hate American tours. It was 3 am here in Belarus when we played with Borussia and will be 1 am with Sevilla, so i decided to take a weekly break from work just to recover from preseason. And if I need a break after the American tour - imagine how it feels for our boys.

Another not very new thing is - i still hate FIFA. Come on, we are living in XXI century - and with all the internets and emojis of this world they can’t give our new big ginger opportunity to show himself? Van den Berg registration is a joke.

And i still hate national teams competitions just for theirs existence. I shouldn’t affect clubs randomly. You saw Borussia with all the big guns up and ready to go against our youngsters. You saw Tottenham last summer with and their fatigue levels. Footballers should have a break and should have the opportunity to get ready for the job, they are going to do next season. I will party hard when someone with brains sort this out.

As for our performance - i like pre-season. All this new hopefuls, second chances, big opportunities and new Jorginhos. Okay, except new Jorginhos)

Virgil van Dijk is a world-class master in the art of defending but the problem for Jurgen Klopp comes when deciding which player partners him. Who do you think will partner him on the first day of the season against Norwich?

Who to choose is the least expected problem for our heart of defense, right? At least for us, fans. Lovren is already sold to Milan, Matip was a lanky freebie from a suspect club, Gomez was unproven youngster with injuries. The only person with the full understanding was and is Mr. Klopp.

It would be unfair to drop Matip, especially if we are going to extend his deal. So i think Gomez will have to wait for his next opportunity to grab his place.

Finally Sigurvegari, a number of youth players have flown Stateside with Klopp, including Adam Lewis, Rhian Brewster, Nat Phillips, Curtis Jones, Yasser Larouci, Ki-Jana Hoever, Bobby Duncan, Ben Woodburn, Dan Atherton and Jakub Ojrzynski. (22 year old's Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson can also be included in this list).

From the first 4 pre-season games, who has caught your eye so far and how have you assessed the young lads so far in pre-season?

I like watching our academy games, so most of the names were not new and i knew what to expect. The biggest improvement from the previous times is their confidence.They come to the line up and don’t look like aliens. Everyone understand what we are going to do and what is our style. So credit goes to Inglethorpe and Lijnders. But if I have to choose my favorites, then Brewster, Jones and Hoever.

Duncan, Glatzel, Larouci and Ojrzynsky got their experience and now have to use it in their respective competitions. Woodburn, Lewis, Phillips and Atherton have to go on loan, as they won’t learn anything new in U23. Kent and Wilson show some glimpses, but at 22 for me they should be much more confident and productive on the pitch. I think they will be sold.


The 'Ring of Fire' - a weekly feature on the This Is Anfield forums.

Many thanks to @Sigurvegari for taking part this week and for taking the time to answer the questions, thanks mate!
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"Oh, history writer, don't close the pages yet!"
May 17, 2007
I refrain from posting in Ring of Fire threads out of fear of diverting the attention from the interviewee (Zoki notwithstanding because I really had to thank him) but I'm at loss for words to describe how good this series is. As a foreigner coming from a tiny country, I love to read the thoughts of Liverpool fans everywhere from the city itself to Arctic and Antarctica and that's why I signed up for TIA. @Broomy, my hat is off to you and the whole forum. I actually wish you could interview each and every one of them, that's how good this is.

William Clarke

REDSHIRT ~ I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
Dec 28, 2017
Really interesting reading your thoughts and aspirations in following our club @Sigurvegari From what you said you've had a bit of a struggle in the beginning following LFC, but now with the Internet and almost global coverage of TV Networks it makes your support of our club a whole lot easier. It always amazes me how big our LFC family is when seeing our fans various video celebrations from around the world following our Champions League final triumph. Again, many thanks for giving us an insight into your life following our club. YNWA @Sigurvegari