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Russian football squad earned high praise at FIFA World Cup — head coach

Asked whether the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia was the best game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the head coach of the Russian football squad said he believed it was
Stanislav Cherchesov Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS
Stanislav Cherchesov
© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 20/ TASS/. The Russian football team has deserved a good evaluation mark for its performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which closed in Moscow on July 15, Stanislav Cherchesov, the head coach of the national side, said in an interview with FIFA.

The national football team of hosts Russia managed to make it to the quarterfinals stage of this world championship, where Croatia edged them out in a 4-3 penalty shootout on July 7 at the Fisht Arena in Sochi following their 2-2 draw in the regular and extra time.

"A quarter-final is a pretty good result for us, if we analyze the performances," FIFA quoted Cherchesov as saying.

Asked whether the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia was the best game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 54-year-old head coach of the Russian football squad said he believed it was.

"I didn’t want to say it myself, so as not to appear immodest," Cherchesov said. "But since you’ve mentioned it… In my opinion, it was the best match of the tournament, both in terms of the tension and the football."

Speaking about possible prerequisites for Russia’s surprisingly successful performance at the world championship, the coach said they were a successful training session at a camp in Austria in spring, as well as the team’s participation at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, where it failed to clear the group stage but gained useful experience.

"Before the World Cup, we had a brilliant training camp in Tirol, which is also where we tuned up for the Confederations Cup a year ago," he said. "That tournament was our dress rehearsal; it helped us to see where our shortcomings were and correct them before the real thing."

This summer Russia hosted its first-ever FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a remarkable opening show at Luzhniki Stadium on the evening of June 14 and ended with a spectacular final match, played also at the Luzhniki Stadium, where France confidently defeated Croatia 4-2 to win the much-coveted World Cup Trophy.

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