“It could be Russia v Brazil in the final”: Zenit players on the World Cup and Russia beating Spain


The blue-white-sky blue players on the Russian World Cup so far.

On 1 July, Russia beat Spain in a penalty shoot-out to progress to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. The Zenit players of course watched this game while at the Gazprom Training Camp in Austria.

“I watched the match together with my family and a group of foreigners who eventually changed teams and ended the game all cheering for Russia.” Said Alexander Kokorin. “To be honest, the result was fair, Russia played defensively, but Spain overall, if you ignore the own goal, did not create a single chance.”

“It is usual at the World Cup that when a team gets out of the group it has an excellent chances to progress.” Said Miha Mevlja. “surprises are happening in almost every game at this tournament.”

“I was really nervous,” says Luka Djordjevic. “Of course, no one could have expected that Russia would be able to beat Spain, especially given how strong the Spanish team are. One of the best players was Igor Akinfeev, who made the two penalty saves from Koke and Iago Aspas.”

“There were a few chances, during the match and I could see we were improving.” Said Mikhail Kerzhakov. “I do not remember Igor Akinfeev losing in a penalty shootout, so I said to the guys I was watching the game with, that we would win.”

Russia face Croatia in the last quarter-final game on Saturday 7 July in Sochi.

“The Croatian team have looked good, but the Russian team do have the momentum to reach the semifinals and then the final.” Said Alexander Kokorin. “I think that we will beat Croatia. I’ll predict a 1-0 win.”

“I’m happy for the Russian team, and especially for the Zenit players who are there,” says Luis Neto. “I wish them good luck in the game with Croatia: now everything is possible. It is possible that Russia v Brazil will be the final.”