ST. PETERSBURG, June 18. /TASS/. The devotion of Russia’s national football team may help it to fight for the the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup trophy, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said after Russia defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the tournament’s first game on Saturday.
When asked whether the Russian team has a chance of winning the trophy, Mutko replied "Yes, judging by their devotion."
"We need to understand that we will face strong opponents - Portugal, Mexico, Germany, Chile. All we need is to play with great devotion, to do our best - then everything will be OK," he said.
During their next game, Russians will face Portugal in Moscow on June 21.
This year’s tournament, widely seen as a rehearsal before the next year's FIFA World Cup, is held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.
Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.