Likhachev: Inter Cup will be a good test for all candidates to the Russian national team

​The head coach of the Russian national team Mikhail Likhachev talks about the team composition prior to the first tournament of 2019.

Russian national team for the third time in a row will take part in the international tournament Inter Cup in St. Petersburg. But it will be a completely different team in 2019. In previous two seasons Mikhail Likhachev brought to St. Petersburg only players no older than 23 years old. Now we will see the main Russian team. With one little but important exception: Russia will have to play without guys from Krystall, Delta and other teams participating in Inter Cup-2019. Russian head coach told BSRussia about the roster formation and plans for the future.

- Mister Likhachev, could you tell us how Russian team will look like at Inter Cup?

- We decided not to pull out players who will play for Russian clubs at the Inter Cup. We limit ourselves to the rest of the players from the main group, on whom we rely on to next season. We will also add a number of players from our reserve squad. By them I mean both young guys and those who have already played for the Russian national team before.

- How are you planning to get ready to Inter Cup?

- We will hold a training camp in St. Petersburg lasting four to five days right before the tournament. There will be only 12 guys who will play at Inter Cup. That’s it.

- How many players are included in extended list of candidates for Inter Cup?

- There is no such extended list. We take into account every possibility. Let's see which players will still be alive, healthy and in good shape by that moment. We will start from there. 

- When is the final roster announced?

- We will come up with 12 players who will play for the Russian team in St. Petersburg by the end of March. 

- How important is Inter Cup be in terms of deciding on the composition of the Russian team for the following tournaments?

- We will have a full training camp in Moscow after Inter Cup. It will be on the eve of the World Beach Games qualification. It will be attended by 18 players, so the tournament in St. Petersburg will be a good test for all candidates to the national team. We will closely monitor those who play for other teams. I am sure that every Russian footballer will play at Inter Cup with great motivation to show his best skills and get an invitation to the training camp.