Russian striker Denis Cheryshev, chosen as the best player of the match for the second time following the Russian 3-1 victory against Egypt, described the recognition as a surprise but said it is “secondary” because the important thing is that the team is moving ahead.
Cheryshev labeled the title he received as a surprise as he did not expect to be named best player of the match twice and further added that such award is of minor significance as the important thing is that his team is making progress and is developing, adding “We have won the first two games and we have to keep it up.”
After winning the match against Egypt, which puts Russia very close to the round of 16, he said that “It was important to us that the fans enjoyed themselves and they did.”
The Russian player, who currently plays as a striker for Spanish football club Villareal, also said that he is especially happy because it is the first time in history that Russia is going to move on from the group stage.
However, he noted that Russia will face very difficult rivals in the next round, to which the team will likely qualify.
When asked about the possibility of a match with the Spanish national team, which plays in Group B, he put Spain among the favorites to win the World Cup title.
The Russian midfielder said that Spain is a clear favorite to win the World Cup because of the players it has and the way they play, adding that he hopes to win if Russia will have to play against Spain.