Yuri Zhirkov retires from international football

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.”

Zhirkov was a standout performer for the Russians as they defied the pre-tournament odds to reach the last-eight tournament. However, the former Chelsea man could not participate during the defeat to Croatia after sustaining a calf problem.m. As such, the veteran has called time on his international career with 87 caps for his country – the last of which came in the shock triumph over Spain.

Meanwhile, Russian football has certainly shown promise with the likes of Denis Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin making the mark at the World Cup but the defensive of their game remains a concern with not much experience at the grandest stage. Sergei Ignashevich, who is the country’s most-capped player, has announced the decision to retire from the game at 38 following Russia’s World Cup exit. The centre-back has spent the past 15 years at CSKA Moscow and he is now expected to step into a coaching role.

Leave a Reply