"My heart belongs to Russia today"

Switzerland's captain Mo believed that Russia would help his team to qualify to the World Cup.

Team Switzerland got a very important victory over Azerbaijan in the last round of the second group stage at the qualifying tournament in Moscow. But they had to wait and see if they qualify directly to the World Cup. The Swiss needed Russia to win Spain. And team's captain Mo believed 100% in Mikhail Likhachev's team. 

- Mo, your team got a huge win, but your team-mates did not look happy. Why is that?

- The game was very difficult and took away a lot of power. We won two games in a row, but still do not know whether we go to the World Cup. This is a tough situation for the team, especially in terms of psychology. All players really want to go to the World Cup, that is why there were so many nerves. 

- The last minutes of the game vs Azerbaijan turned out to be very emotional…

- Azerbaijan is a very strong team, so no wonder they put serious pressure on us. We were lucky in some moments. Both teams really wanted to win, so emotions went off scale at some point. I feel bad for Azerbaijan because they lost their chance to go to Paraguay, but this is sport. It’s tough sometimes. 

- The Swiss team did not leave the dressing room for a long time after today’s game. What were you discussing?

- I asked them to calm down and enjoy the victory. We are not in control of what can happen next, but we hope Russia can help us. 

- The Swiss team can get tickets o the World Cup today. Do you there is a good chance Russia can beat Spain?

- We played both teams here. I must say that the Russian team is in crazy shape now. I am sure that can make our dream come true. Today my heart belongs to Russia. I wish them to win and bring Switzerland to the World Cup (smiles).

- Obviously, you do not want to play the fifth place tomorrow…

- Of course, we want to get to the World Cup as soon as possible. We will have to play against a very strong team if we have to. It will be difficult, but we are not scared. We will be ready to anything. We know we are capable of winning Italy and Portugal.

- A physiotherapist from Russia is working with the Swiss team at this tournament. How did the team accept him?

- Alex is a great guy, he really tries hard and does everything for us. He is a physiotherapist, an assistant coach, and an administrator. We are very grateful he is with us in Moscow.

- If your team goes to Paraguay, is there a chance to see him as part of the Swiss team again?

- Tough question (laughs). We have a physiotherapist in Switzerland. Let's see what our coach decides. Anything can happen I guess(smiles).

- Did you get a chance to walk around Moscow?

- We are flying away on Sunday morning, so we will have no time any tours around the city. Our experienced players including me have already been like 10 times to Moscow. Of course, we did some sightseeing. Everything looks amazing here. I really love Moscow. It would be great for our young guys to get a chance to visit Red Square and other iconic places, but I am sure that they will still have such an opportunity in the future.

- Do you like the idea of Russia hosting 2021 World Cup?

- I think it would be great! Russia deserved this. Your team has been playing leading roles in world beach soccer for so many years, and tournaments in Moscow are always well-organized. I think it makes total sense to give Russia the next World Cup.

- You are a very experienced player. Do you think of retirement sometimes?

- I do (smiles). I will definitely play this season to the very end, but I don’t know what is going to happen next. My daughter was born just four weeks ago so I would like to spend more time with my family. It is difficult when you do not have the opportunity to see a newborn child because of the tournaments. We have already won a ticket to the World Beach Games. If we can go to Paraguay, then this can be an excellent retirement for me. I have not decided anything yet, but this World Cup may be the last one for me.