MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Russian football head coach Stanislav Cherchesov has told TASS in an interview he was disappointed by the team’s result at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
For the first time in the history of modern Russia, the national football team made it into the quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup, where it lost to Croatia on penalty shootout.
"Speaking about the emotional aspect, [Russia ended the tournament] on a positive note. But from the point of view of sport, well, sport is all about titles, which we did not get. That’s why we are disappointed," Cherchesov said, when asked whether he was pleased with Russia’s performance at the domestic tournament.
"Two issues should be noted here," he continued. "The first one - people have united around our team. This task has been completed. But the other one was not implemented in full. Although some teams were objectively stronger than us, this still does not mean anything, as you could see."
"We really wanted to advance to the next round, we were one step away from the semifinal," he added.
Amid the surge of football enthusiasm that followed the national team's achievements at the domestic 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia should think on how to develop the sport, he said.
"We hope that the new era is beginning in Russia as everyone now wants to play football. In fact, this is what matters most. The question now is how to develop football further. Once it all settles down a bit, we will be able to organize some work in this direction," Cherchesov said.
The coach said that it would be hard for members of the team to maintain the same high level of football play in the future for reasons of psychology, but urged them to keep their personal bar high.
"Neither the Russian tournament, nor championships in other states can match the emotional intensity of the World Cup. No matter what, psychological qualities to a certain extent determine the level of one’s work," he said. "Surely, the level of competitions will decline, and footballers will have to cope with that. And this is what I told them at the meeting: you must maintain your own athletic level.".