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Capello: World Cup important for Russian football

17 June 2014 04:28

Fabio Capello believes Russia's appearance at the FIFA World Cup is an important step forward for football in the European nation.

Capello's men are set to end a 12-year absence from the World Cup when they play South Korea in their Group H opener at the Arena Pantanal on Tuesday.

Russia have not appeared at a World Cup since failing to advance beyond the group stage at the 2002 tournament in South Korea/Japan.

Speaking ahead of their opening game, Capello said Russia's participation at the World Cup would bode well when they host the event in four years' time

"For us it is important to be here in Brazil first of all because Russia returns to play at a World Cup after 12 years," Capello said. "And for the all country this is already a step forward.

"For sure as host nation we will also play the next World Cup, and in order to prepare in the best way this World Cup will also be a great occasion to compare our football with the football of the best teams in the world.

"It's all experience that we will gain toward the European Championship first and the next World Cup too."

The Italian boss also defended his decision for the squad to fly into Cuiaba the day before the match, insisting it was a calculated choice by himself and the coaching staff.

"I don't understand all this surprise about the fact we arrived here only today," he said.

"All the decisions on our preparation have been taken by me and the medical staff together.

"We decided to arrive here just one day before the game because we thought that for the players it was better not to change the environment where they were preparing.

"On top of this we only had to fly one hour and 45 minutes, if it was longer we could have decided differently.

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Info

Competition
World Cup
Date
18 June 2014
Game week
1
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
1 - 1
Venue
Arena Pantanal (Cuiabá, Mato Grosso)
Attendance
37603

Goals

0 - 1
68' Keun-Ho Lee
 (assist by Kook-Young Han)
A. Kerzhakov 74'
(assist by A. Eshchenko) 
1 - 1

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