"The World Cup starts with a playoff, and our task is to move further through the tournament, and it doesn’t matter who thinks what. We must listen to the coaches and perform well in the upcoming match against Croatia," Russian media quoted Samedov as saying.
The footballer also named his team’s ace in the hole. "I believe the Russian national team’s trump card is its character. In the playoff of such a major championship one cannot do without character," he pointed out.
Russia finished second in their group, having been surpassed by Uruguay. In the round of 16, Stanislav Cherchesov’s team gritted out a win over Spain in a penalty shootout.
The Russian squad will face off against Croatia in a quarter-final clash due to take place at the Fisht stadium in the southern Russian city of Sochi on July 7.