Moscow: On Thursday, the second consecutive World Cup day without games, the stadium in Sochi was preparing to host its last game of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. The Russian national team arrived in Sochi for the quarter-final clash against Croatia on Thursday, after a morning training session at the team’s base in Novogorsk, near Moscow. All team members took part, except Yuri Zhirkov, who continues his recovery and trains under an individual programme.
Alan Dzagoyev, who received an injury during the World Cup’s opening match of Russia-Saudi Arabia, said he had recovered completely and will be able to take part in the quarter-final.
“Right now, everything’s fine, today I trained with the others, and I’m ready for the game,” he said.
The team arrived in Sochi on Thursday evening, and the city greeted them with festive illumination on the local TV tower, visible from various parts of the city. Near the hotel, the team was greeted by about 70 fans, waving national flags and chanting slogans.
Their opponents, Croatia, arrived at the Black Sea resort on Monday, the day after they defeated Denmark in the round of 16.
Croatia also trained on Thursday, but at the Adler-1 training field in Sochi. Mateo Kovacic, who received a shoulder injury in the clash with Denmark, joined his team after recovery period.
Neither Russia, nor Croatia will train at the Fisht stadium where the quarter-final game will be held. The decision was made in order to preserve the turf of the Sochi arena.