As the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia has held a successful tournament as well as their performance on the pitch. In spite of the failure of the match versus Croatia, the team made a great sensation when play against Spain and win.
Its achievement could due to several factors. The first one is the unity. This team has been two years in the making for head coach Stanislav Cherchesov. In that time, many different players have been called up and most people hold a distrust of this team. Finally the team have come together into a rock-solid unit, where the players are prepared to cooperate mutually for pursuit of the common goal.
The assistance from technology enhances the players’ competitiveness and help athletics running with less resistance. Adidas’s technology is applied to the new football kits worn by the players, which absolutely is an advantage in high level competition
Fans’ support is vital. “If it weren’t for our fans and the World Cup were taking place elsewhere,” midfielder Roman Zobnin said,” our results may have been different. Ninety-five percent is credited to the fans, who have been supporting us and driving us forward since the first match. We’ve felt their support and we couldn’t let them down.”
In years gone by, one of the main shortcoming pointed out of the Russian players was that they didn’t work hard. Now things change. Striker Artem Dzyuba summed up their commitment after the Spain game: “The only way we could win was through this type of performance, by holding out and fighting. The pain and cramps will come later. The footballing gods didn’t always favour us, but they helped us out like never before today. I’m proud to be in this team, it’s a huge honour. Well done to everyone, we’ve been amazing today. We were virtually out on our feet at the end there. We believed that self-sacrifice, discipline and structure could overcome class.”
The fitness coaches, Paulino Granero and Vladimir Panikov of the team should own more praise of those going to team. FIFA’s official statistics showed that Russia had covered more ground than any other team in the tournament after the second round of matches in the group stage. The Russians are ranked top in a number of physical statistics at the World Cup, such as total distance run, the intensity of their pressing and how often they have recovered possession. The superb fitness helps the players to keep a competitive power when a match comes to later period.
Tactical flexibility enable the team to play against different opponent with specialized strategy. “We analyzed Spain in depth,” continued Zobnin, “how they attack, where their weaknesses are, what problems they have in defence and where they’re strongest. We followed the game plan to the letter. We withstood and kept them at bay, knowing how good they are in attack. Aside from a few exceptions, we pretty much didn’t give them any chances.”