On the eve of the World Cup opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, Russian players spent the afternoon trying to relax and manage the weight of their country's expectations.
"When we put our foot on the pedal, we go all the way"Russian national coach
"It takes us a long time to start driving but when we put our foot on the pedal, we go all the way," Russian national coach Stanislav Cherchesov told reporters on Wednesday (June 13). "So I think once the whole thing begins, everything will fall into place. Nobody has ever achieved anything by words alone. You have to put your money where your mouth is."
While the pressure's on Russia to do well at their home World Cup, Saudi Arabia is also playing to win, said the team's manager Juan Antonio Pizzi.
"We have the maximum ambition. And that is today to win against Russia. And we are going to do our best so that we can win the match tomorrow. As from tomorrow, our objectives are going to be exactly the same. Maximum ambition to compete and win."
Yekaterinburg Zoo has also caught World Cup fever, with a lemur at the zoo predicting that Saudi Arabia will beat the Russian team.