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Russian football team to play friendly against reigning world champs Germany — Capello

February 25, 2015, 20:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Capello said there had been at first an opportunity to play a friendly against Argentina, but the sum the Argentinian side requested for the match was extremely high
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MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. The Russian national football team has an agreement with the Football Union of Germany for a friendly match against the reigning world champions team Germany, Fabio Capello, the head coach of the Russian squad, told journalists on Wednesday.

Addressing a news conference on Wednesday in Moscow, Capello said the Russian Football Union (RFU) inked an agreement with its German counterpart for a friendly match between the Russian and German national football teams, however, the date and the venue have not been decided upon.

Capello said there had been at first an opportunity to play a friendly against Argentina, but the sum the Argentinian side requested for the match was extremely high.

Germany won its 4th world champion’s title after defeating Argentina 1-0 in the final match of the 2014 World Cup last month in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro to become the first European team to triumph on South American soil and to top FIFA’s top ten football teams’ rankings.

The final 171st goal of the current championship in Brazil was the only one in the title match on July 13, when Germany’s forward Mario Goetze burnt the net of the Argentinian team in the second 15-minute half of the extended time to bring his team the fourth title of the world champions.

With a total of six World Cups held in Latin America (1930 in Uruguay, 1950 in Brazil, 1962 in Chile, 1970 in Mexico, 1978 in Argentina and 1986 in Mexico) Germany became the first European team to snatch the title there adding to their previous three won in 1954, 1974 and 1990. Brazil is so far the only Latin American nation to win the World Cup crown at the tournaments held in Europe to win the 1958 championship in Sweden.

The Russian national squad experienced a string of setbacks over the past decade failing to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and 2010 championship in South Africa to the great dismay of the Russian football fans.

Things changed when Italian phenomenon Capello took over the team as the head coach in July of 2012 and managed to help the Russian national squad to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The team, however, failed to clear the first stage of the much-anticipated global tournament putting their coach in the center of stern criticism and raising serious concerns in the country about the team’s performance in the next World Cup, which would be hosted by Russia in 2018.

However, Russia did not severe the contract with Capello after the Russian team’s performance at the World Cup in Brazil and the Italian manager also decided to stay with the Russian squad as the head coach until the year of 2018 as stipulated by the contract terms.

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over four years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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