MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. Enjoying the privilege of playing on home turf the Russian national team will be having a solid support of fans and is capable to make its way to the knock-out stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, former Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan said on Thursday.
"I have been watching them at the (2017 FIFA) Confederations Cup and I can say they are a good team, they have good players and they are the hosting nation, so it is going to be tough playing against them," Forlan, who was named the best player of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, said.
"Every national team is good and strong, but the hosting nation will be having all of these fans supporting them," Forlan said. "Of course it (the World Cup) will be for the first time here and they (the Russian team) will be excited to do a great work."
Asked whether the Russian national squad had a chance of making into the play-offs at the upcoming championship, Forlan said "Yes, of course, they will be a difficult team to beat."
Forlan, 38, is currently in Moscow and will be one of eight assistants helping at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final Draw, which will be held at the State Kremlin Palace on Friday.
The other seven assistants are Diego Maradona, Fabio Cannavaro, Cafu, Carles Puyol, Laurent Blanc, Nikita Simonyan and Gordon Banks. Together with hosts Russia they all represent eight FIFA World Cup winning countries as they will be joined by Miroslav Klose from Germany, who will be the Trophy bearer at the Final Draw ceremony.
After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The country 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.