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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Team Sits It Out

Before the match, the Italians wrote that if they suffered defeat, the country would suffer huge losses -- $180 million. How much Russian soccer lost, no one knows. The one thing it could not have lost is prestige -- because, simply put, it doesn't have any.

It's clear that Boris Ignatyev will be leaving his post as national team head coach. First, because his contract is running out. Second, because someone has to be the scapegoat. Incidentally, Russian Soccer Federation President Vyacheslav Koloskov called our soccer second rate. If that's the case, then what does that make Koloskov?

But cheer up, guys. At least we won't have to struggle in Paris. If the team doesn't have a face now, you won't be able to draw one on it in six months. Any team in France might play a good game, only not ours.

Incidentally, after such a tough season there is another option: to send our national team off for some rest and relaxation. Right now it's really nice in the Solovetskiye Islands [former labor camps under Stalin on the White Sea]. At the very least, they could go to Cyprus, a really good place to watch the World Championships on television.

Past Glories

We're sad. The players are disappointed. The coaches are frustrated -- so much so that after their defeat in Naples, they didn't show up at the press conference. This is unprecedented and even scandalous. Such behavior could result in FIFA, soccer's governing body, taking disciplinary sanctions. One way or another, the world has seen that the Russians cannot lose with honor.

Russian soccer will enter the next century without the chance to test its strengths against the world's best teams. But is it worth making this into a tragedy? We have four years ahead of us and it is time to call things the way they are. For a start we should give up any illusions. Ukraine and Georgia were also disappointed not make it to the finals. But no one pronounced the slogan: "Ukraine is a great soccer state" that obliges its players to fulfill a task no matter what. For us, it's another matter. Imagining ourselves outside the circle of the soccer elite is unbearable. It's time to own up to our faults. For a start, we must get used to thinking that the history of Russian soccer, even if it is 100 years old, is nothing more than history.