Monday, 22 July, 2019

Russian Federation coach laments harsh end to World Cup dream

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Deanna Wagner | 10 July, 2018, 04:35

The Kremlin dubbed the Russian national team heroes and proud soccer fans saluted their underdog host team after the side lost on penalties to Croatia, bringing an end to its World Cup challenge at the quarter-finals.

Saturday's match is a huge one for Russian Federation, who have never reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, although the Soviet Union got there in 1966.

"He has been calling me, he called me before and after the (last) game with Spain", Cherchesov said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov neither confirmed nor dismissed the information on the inclusion of the cybersecurity issues in the agenda of the upcoming Russia-US summit, saying he was unprepared yet to comment on this.

Responding to a question on the alleged Russian interference in the USA presidential elections, the envoy said Trump will drive the discussion on malign activity and election meddling. We'll see if I can allow him to play from the first minute.

In advance of the summit, US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, briefed President Trump during a one-on-one conference call Thursday - saying that Trump will go into the meeting with "eyes wide open". "You are the best fans in the world!" the team wrote on Twitter.

On the future of the history-making squad, the coach said, "Let's not forecast too far ahead". "We felt your support from the first second".

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"Of course we wanted to go further", he admitted.

Russia's coach, Stanislav Cherchesov, said: "We don't have any chances to win this cup and, of course, we are sad". "I had them and the guys did".

The team was ranked 70th in the world by Federation Internationale de Football Association before the World Cup started, making the host nation the lowest ranking side in the event.

Cherchesov noted, "Talking about criticism, if they trusted us or not, we trusted ourselves". "Thank you from the bottom of my soul - we love you".

"We said we can only prove our worth by working hard - I believe not only did people start to trust us, but the entire country of Russian Federation is in love with us, they know what the national team is worth".

"People didn't only start trusting, but loving us. We will have do something with our players to play against them and individually our players will have to play well". They know what the national team is worth. This, in turn, is fueling concerns in Washington and among United States allies in Europe that Trump may proclaim the Helsinki meeting a breakthrough without extracting any real concessions.