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Russian President Vladimir Putin says that hosting of the World Cup has helped debunk stereotypes about the country.

"He missed training the day before yesterday but yesterday and today he trained and we will see if I am able to let him play from the first minute".

The Russian coach further disclosed that the prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, was also with them in the changing room for morale boost while Putin called him twice. He referred to Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying: "And I said, 'You know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you and it means a lot more to you than protecting us 'cause I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you".

"He told me to have our eyes open and make the right steps".

Russia's coach, Stanislav Cherchesov, said: "We don't have any chances to win this cup and, of course, we are sad".

"Putin has been calling me". I won't dare forecast too far ahead.

In a telephonic interaction with the reporters ahead of the meet, the U.S. envoy, however, tried to keep the deliverables from the summit to "low expectations" and stated that the meeting itself was a major deliverable. "When they are asked for some information, they are very friendly". Then in the final 16 stage, the top teams like Argentina, Portugal and Spain were knocked out of the World Cup.

Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, who has served several jail sentences for allegedly organising protests against the Kremlin, also praised the team's effort.

Cherchesov noted, "Talking about criticism, if they trusted us or not, we trusted ourselves". To beg someone to trust in you, we didn't want to do that.

President Donald Trump will drill down on Russia's "malign activity" during summits with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and President Vladimir Putin, US officials said on Thursday, signaling a harder line against Moscow than Trump has traditionally taken.

This tactic was turned on its head against Croatia, with Russian Federation going all out and scoring first but conceding two more before an equalizer deep in the second half of extra time reignited their hopes of a last four spot, the first since the Soviet Union's 1966 run.

He said: "We feel like conscripts, when they come to just before they have done their two-year (national) service, like those a bit demoralised who wanted to stay in the army for some more time longer. We will have do something with our players to play against them and individually our players will have to play well".