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Russian footballer says national team needs neither Ronaldo nor Messi

June 20, 18:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, in the first Confederations Cup match in St. Petersburg, Russia defeated New Zealand

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Russian national team’s forward Fyodor Smolov

Russian national team’s forward Fyodor Smolov

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, June 20. /TASS/. The Russian national football team needs neither Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo nor Argentine Lionel Messi, because the presence of top level football stars would complicate the team building process, the Russian national team’s forward Fyodor Smolov said at a press conference.

The match between Russia and Portugal will be held at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday at 18:00 Moscow Time.

"We don’t have a person who could compete with Messi and Cristiano for the Golden Ball. And we don’t need him, because it’s hard to build a team in which there is such a person, because everything is focused on him," Smolov said.

"As for me, I, actually, do not pay attention to comparisons with Ronaldo, and I consider them inappropriate. The game will show everything. We have tasks of our own, and Portuguese and Cristian have their own tasks, probably. My task will be to train well, listen to the game plan and fit in it in the best possible way in the field tomorrow," the Russian forward added.

Messi is a five-time winner of the annual Golden Ball award (for best player), and Ronaldo is a four-time winner of the Golden Ball.

Earlier, in the first Confederations Cup match in St. Petersburg, Russia defeated New Zealand, 2:0. After the game with Portugal, Russia will play against Mexico on June 24 in Kazan.

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