Russian Federation coach laments harsh end to World Cup dream

Howard TerryJul 10, 2018

Putin has agreed in principle to US and Israeli demands that Iranian-backed forces in southern Syria be kept away from Israel's border, replaced with troops loyal to the government in Damascus, two Kremlin advisers said.

"People not only started to believe in us, but the whole nation loves us now", he said.

US President Donald Trump insisted Thursday he will be "prepared" for his upcoming meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, joking about journalists who question his lack of experience.

The U.S. president's spontaneous approach to negotiations, and the inscrutable style of the Kremlin leader, make predicting the outcome of the summit with any accuracy close to impossible. 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.

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.

"Myself as a coach, openly, I'm trying not to watch television or read the newspapers".

"People have seen that Russian Federation is a hospitable country, a friendly one for those who come here", he said. 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.

"It is a good story to remind us of our game against Spain, for our country it is great step forward. You are the best fans in the world!" the team wrote on Twitter.

In a telephonic interaction with the reporters ahead of the meet, the U.S. envoy, however, tried to keep the deliverables from the summit to "low expectations" and stated that the meeting itself was a major deliverable.

Speaking about unpredictability, such global football heavyweights as reigning World Champions Germany, reigning European Champions Portugal, the teams of Argentina and Spain, have already gone home after failing to clear either a group stage or the 2018 World Cup or the round of Last 16. They are still great guys for us, they are heroes.

Russian Federation have been boosted by the return of experienced midfielder Alan Dzagoev.

"Russia has an interest to bleed Iran in Syria, to weaken Iran but not collapse Iran because it may lose the Assad regime, which is its major card", said Sami Nader, head of the Levant Institute for Strategic Studies in Beirut.

"I think the fact that we're having a summit at this level, at this time in history, is a deliverable in itself".

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