Patriotism Abounds After Russia Exits World Cup

According to the spokesperson, Putin invited team coach Stanislav Cherchesov and the players to a meeting to discuss the results of the tournament and its legacy.

Cherchesov, who is widely expected to continue in his role as the team’s coach after his success at the tournament, said that his players had worked hard to win over the country’s fans.

“We believed in ourselves. We could only prove our worth by working hard,” Cherchesov told reporters at a press conference after the match.

“Not only did we [get people to believe in us], but the country even fell in love with the team,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cherchesov said he regretted not being able to continue playing in the tournament.

“We’re like soldiers who were called up for the army,” he said.

“We were demobilized, but, to be honest, we wanted to continue fighting … We would have gladly served our country until July 15, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”

At a meeting between members of the team and supporters at the Vorobyovy Gory fan zone in Moscow on Sunday, Cherchesov said he was already getting ready for the next tournament.

“We’ll be even better in four years in Qatar,” he said. “But it’ll be hard without you. So see you there.”