Russian footballer Yuri Zhirkov has decided to call time on his international career following the country’s exit from the summer World Cup. The Russians exceeded the initial expectations to reach the quarter-final of the tournament where they were eventually ousted by Croatia in a penalty shoot-out.
Following the exit, Zhirkov has not taken much to announce his international retirement after saying that he does not have enough energy to continue at the same level, he said: “I do not have enough energy to play at this level. The latest injury was the final signal. I’ve had no time for my family and children and this was another summer without a vacation. I would like to thank everyone who I played with, all the coaches, our fans and of course my family, who persuaded me to stay in the team long enough play to play at the World Cup. I am proud that I was lucky enough to represent my country at two World Cups and two European Championships.”
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Russian defender Daler Kuzyaev has admitted that the team is wary of the threat Spain may provide during their round of 16 clash. The hosts had begun the tournament with convincing wins over Saudi Arabia and Egypt but they could not maintain their lead after a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Uruguay in the final group stage game.
As such, they have been pitted against Spain for the knockout stage of the World Cup and Kuzyaev admits that the team need to prepare carefully in order to secure a surprise win over La Roja, he said: “
We learned upon arrival in Moscow that our next opponent is Spain… Spain and Portugal are serious opponents… Spain like to own the ball, they have the highest technical level, so we are going to study the opponent in the upcoming days. Of course, we are wary, just like we would be wary of any other opponent. We will prepare [for the game] very carefully.”
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Yuri Zhirkov is a major doubt for Russia’s upcoming World Cup game with Croatia. This is a quarter-final clash that could ultimately replace the show into the semifinals – a feat that they last achieved during the Euro 2008 competition. Zhirkov was a surprise candidate in the Russian national team squad, but the former Chelsea winger has certainly justified his inclusion by being able to perform admirably over the course of the tournament. He played a crucial role in the victory over Spain on penalties. It was one of the remarkable results for Russia, as they were facing backs against the wall for much of the 120 minutes before winning the game on penalties.
However, a major issue for Russia was the injury forZhirkov during the game against Spain. The Zenit St Petersburg defender appeared to suffer a serious injury which has now been diagnosed as an inflammation of a calf tendon. It is expected that this injury will take at least a couple of days in order to cure and this leaves Russia in a very troublesome position as fast World Cup qualification is concerned. With a lot of expectation arising surrounding the national team, Russia will be expected to perform even better than they have done over the course of the campaign. They now have to deal with the absence ofZhirkov. It is expected that the defender will be replaced by Vladimir Granat in the upcoming game against Croatia.
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Russia national coach Stanislav Cherchesov has opined that Argentina are hugely dependent on Lionel Messi to influence their results. The South American have lost heavily to Nigeria and Spain over the past year where Messi has not taken the playing field and Cherchesov believes Jorge Sampaoli’s side are not psychologically prepared to play without the Barcelona star.
“Argentina’s problem is that they are not psychologically prepared to play without Messi,” Cherchesov told La Vanguardia. “I’m not saying it’s a team of one player, but they cannot play without him. This was when, after the match with us, they played with Nigeria, and also lost to Spain. They depend on Messi.”
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Konstantin Rausch, who plays for Dynamo Moscow, has claimed that Egypt striker Mohamed Salah should play at the World Cup in order to make it an attractive competition. The Liverpool winger suffered a shoulder injury in the recent game against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
This has put his participation in the World Cup at a major doubt, as it appears to be a serious injury, indeed. One of the few teams who would rejoice at this news might be Russia, who are one of the group opponents for Egypt at the World Cup. However, their defenderRausch has made the surprising claim that he wants Salah to feature at the World Cup since Russia want to be tested against the best in the business. Continue reading “Rausch Wants To See Mohamed Salah At World Cup”
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has supposedly hinted that he is not keen on a move to Manchester United during this summer’s transfer window. The France international came close to reuniting with compatriot Paul Pogba at Old Trafford last summer, before making a surprise U-turn owing to Atletico’s transfer ban being upheld.
The Spanish outfit have since been allowed to sign players during the 2018 winter transfer window, and Griezmann has now suggested that he wants to resolve his future ahead of the World Cup in Russia, he said: “My future will be decided before the World Cup, I want to go to Russia with a clear mind, I think that’s what everybody wants, it’s not so much the question of where I’ll play, which may be boring, but about having the peace of mind if I’m still in one place or another.”
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Ghanaian soccer star Aziz Tetteh has reportedly completed his move to Russian side Dynamo Moscow. The player got the nod from the authorities to finish the move from Polish football club Lech Poznan.
The deal is believed to be in the region of 2.5 million Euros in total. The deal was finalized after Tetteh passed medicals at the VTB Arena. He is believed to be a special request by Dynamo Moscow manager Dmitry Khokhlov. Khokhlov wants the tough tackling defensive midfielder to join the setup and improve the club football in the middle.
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CSKA Moscow manager Viktor Goncharenko is aware of the threat possessed from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and his Arsenal teammates. The Russian outfit have been pitted against the Gunners in the quarter-final stage of the Europa League with the first-leg of the competition due to be played at the Emirates Stadium next month.
Mkhitaryan has already faced CSKA previously on the road with Manchester United in the Champions League. On that occasion, he managed to create havoc in a 59-minute performance, and contributed a goal in a comfortable 4-1 win for Jose Mourinho’s side. Now at Arsenal, Mkhitaryan has been in fine form of late with two goals and assist in the last three games, but Goncharenko is determined to neutralise the Gunners’ attack front. Speaking in a press conference, he said:“I know Mkhitaryan’s abilities very well. We will make maximum efforts to neutralize not solely Henrikh, but the entire attacking line of the opponent.”
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Zenit St Petersburg defender Branislav Ivanovic has admitted that he was ‘surprised’ by the performance levels of Celtic during the first leg of the Europa League round of 32 tie. The Hoops produced a strong showing in front of their home supporters, and they were eventually rewarded after Callum McGregor clinched a 78th-minute winner for the Scottish champions.
In an interview covered by The Scotsman, the 33-year-old, who has previously plyed his trade for Chelsea, conceded that he was astonished by the performance of Brendan Rodgers’ side, but he expects Zenit to come back with a strong response of their own when they host the Hoops in the return leg at the Krestovsky Stadium next week.
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AC Milan are ready to make an approach for Zenit St Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini, who may have a contract with the Russian outfit until 2020 but there are signs that he may be ready to return to top level management. Mancini is reportedly not happy with his life and career at Russia, and he is looking forward to returning to mainstream European football. After having recently sacked manager Vincenzo Montella and failed to secure a proper replacement, AC Milan have been struggling for results. The club spent a huge amount of money in the summer on new players, but it is yet to pay dividends.
At this going great, it looks like Milan will have to spend another season without European football. The club have reportedly identified Roberto Mancini has the person to improve the club’s fortunes, as the former Manchester City and Roma manager has the experience of spending money and providing success at the same time. The rumoured unhappiness within Mancini could be a great way to entice the Zenit St Petersburg manager. Since the departure of Vincenzo Montella, Gattuso has been brought in as the interim manager. However, he has had a huge disappointment so far after managing just one victory in four matches.
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