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Simonyan: Russia reaching final four would be huge success

  • Russia celebrates 60 years since its debut on the FIFA World Cup
  • Nikita Simonyan scored the Soviet Union’s first objective on the match
  • The former striker believes Igor Akinfeev is the most efficient participant within the present crew 

Russian soccer is dealing with a landmark yr in 2018, as the rustic hosts the FIFA World Cup™ for the primary time in historical past and celebrates the 60th anniversary in their debut on the match.

The nation’s courting with FIFA’s maximum prestigious pageant started at Sweden 1958, the place the us produced a good end for the debuting aspect: reaching the quarter-final ahead of shedding to the hosts 2-Zero.

The captain of that crew, who additionally scored the Soviets’ opening objective on the match, is 91-year-old Nikita Simonyan. Despite his age, he’s nonetheless operating onerous for the nice of the game national as First Vice-President of the Russian Football Union and Ambassador for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Recently, he represented Russia as probably the most draw assistants throughout the FIFA World Cup Final Draw in December remaining yr.

Simonyan’s non-public second of glory got here within the Soviet Union’s 2-2 draw of their opening fit towards England, when he broke the impasse within the 13th minute. However, the previous striker stays humble about his fulfillment.

“My task for this goal was the same as the whole team,” Simonyan mentioned. “It was the result of a move and my team-mates gave me the assist, so the achievement is down to the whole team and not the player who touched the ball last.”

Nevertheless, you can not underestimate Simonyan’s position in Russian soccer historical past; in some ways, he is Russian soccer. Simonyan not too long ago sat down for an interview with FIFA.com to revisit the World Cup 60 years in the past and percentage his ideas at the upcoming match on house soil for Russia.

Playing on the 1958 World Cup:
“There are many alternative competitions, equivalent to home leagues and cups. I additionally gained a gold medal on the 1956 Olympic Games held in Melbourne. However, simplest the World Cup can in reality confer the identify of the most efficient global crew in the world: there is not any comparability with another match. So, I’m proud to have performed on the 6th World Cup in Sweden in 1958, when the Soviet Union reached the quarter-finals.

“My younger buddies perhaps don’t know that again then there have been no substitutes. In case of harm, the crew used to be pressured to performed with ten males. For a number of causes, the us didn’t take the most powerful squad to Sweden. Even with out four of our perfect avid gamers, we made it to the quarter-finals, the place we misplaced to the eventual finalists Sweden. We performed 5 suits in 11 days, together with the play-off towards England. Without subs! Nowadays they play once more after 3 or four days and there’s sufficient time to recuperate.”

Russia’s goals in 2018:
“The first task is always the same: qualify from the group. To play in the semi-final or win the tournament, you need to complete the first step and then set a new objective. It would be a huge success if our players reached the last four.”

Russia’s captain and chief:
“Igor Akinfeev is Russia’s perfect participant these days; everybody respects him within the squad. The place of goalkeeper carries huge duty. I used to be a striker: if I scored one probability out of 3, I’d obtain reward, whilst if a keeper makes 5 tricky saves however we could a very easy one in, folks would say he misplaced the sport.

“I will be able to’t assist however have in mind Lev Yashin, whom I performed with within the nationwide crew. A goalkeeper exudes a way of self assurance to all outfield avid gamers, particularly his defenders. Akinfeev’s perfect qualities are his reactions and organisation. He has a advantageous strike on him as nicely and will hit the ball 60 or 70 metres. The maximum essential factor is his self assurance and reliability. He’s an impressive keeper, even though Yashin is regarded as the most efficient of all time.”

Favourites for the World Cup:
“Germany, indisputably. England haven’t gained for a very long time, since 1966. Of route, there also are Spain, Argentina, Brazil and Portugal. Surprises are imaginable, however the best groups on this planet are rather well-established nowadays. You all know the well-known word mentioned via Gary Lineker, with whom I chatted ahead of the Final Draw. Germany have a huge merit of their high-playing self-discipline, combating spirit and persona, however all 32 groups will attempt to display those qualities.

“In any case, I am hoping the World Cup is going off on the easiest stage and all of the lovers who come to our nation are glad.”

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