Saturday, 22 September, 2018

What Putin told Russian players after they were eliminated

Meeting Putin will be Trump's toughest test Getty Images
Melinda Barton | 09 July, 2018, 22:13

After studying Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during which he announced a surprise halt to USA military exercises with South Korea, Putin decided he needs to negotiate with the US president personally, the senior official said, without elaborating.

"[Putin] watched, he was rooting for the team". "He called me after the game as well, congratulated me on the good game, on our good performance... They were dying on the pitch, we are proud with them", Peskov was quoted by Interfax as saying.

"There was not a single national team playing in this World Cup which had the complete trust of their country".

The Russian team, which was the lowest-ranked nation at the tournament, not only managed to make it past the group stage by winning two of their three games, but also charged into the quarter-final by knocking out 2010 world champions Spain in the last-16 round. "I'm really happy that we made it to the quarters for the first time in history", said Artyom Osadchy, a student. Owing to Russia's worldwide confrontation with the West, a lot of western states had aired suspicion over the tournament with some even deciding to stay away from it even if their teams played.

"I believe that people did not only start trusting us but they are in love with us".

In late June, the Russian leader instructed the government to ensure jointly with the heads of regions hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches the effective use of the World Cup's heritage for organizing and holding large sports competitions and events. "They are still great guys for us, they are heroes", said Peskov.

Fyodor Smolov had his first penalty saved by Danijel Subasic and, although Russian Federation goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saved a Mateo Kovacic kick, their fate appeared sealed when Mario Fernandes fired wide from their third attempt.

The disappointment of defeat late on Saturday soon melted into applause as fans toasted a national side that had repeatedly defied expectations. "We felt your support from the first second".

Many disappointed fans broke out in applause after the tense loss to Croatia, spilling out of bars and viewing areas chanting "Russia" and dancing to music on the streets.

"It was a great match".

"Russia has fallen! Hug, cry.Croatia is among the four best teams in the world", the commentator on state-run HRT television channel shouted.

"You can't take the trophy straight away".

The hosts' surprise progress to the quarter-final has ramped up the hopes of home fans but Cherchesov insists - aside from taking calls from the president - he is trying to steer clear of the hype.