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Ionov revelling in World Cup experience

13 June 2014 21:08

Russia's Aleksei Ionov is determined to enjoy his first experience of a FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The Dynamo Moscow midfielder is part of Fabio Capello's 23-man squad preparing for Russia's Group H opener against South Korea on Tuesday.

Russia failed to qualify for the previous two finals in Germany and South Africa and Ionov is savouring being at a major tournament.

"I fully feel the atmosphere of the World Cup," he said in a press conference on Friday.

"It's a huge honour for to be in Brazil in the tournament. I enjoy every minute of it in the team.

"We are looking forward to the first game, of which we have great expectations.

"We'll investigate as always. We'll carefully review the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent."

Ionov's team-mate Viktor Fayzulin, when questioned about the selection dilemma surrounding attacking duo Oleg Shatov and Alan Dzagoev, was diplomatic in his response, eulogising over the attributes of both players.

"In my opinion they are different players," he said.

"Dzagoev is a sharper attacker, Shatov does a lot of work. I think on the field they may complement each other."

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