"This Belarus team reminds me of Russia in 2007"

Team Russia's captain stays focused and wants to qualify to the World Cup as soon as possible.

Russia wins every game at the European World Cup qualification in Moscow. Mikhail Likhachev's team beat Azerbaijan 6:0 today but still have not qualified to the World Cup in Paraguay.

Team's captain Anton Shkarin keeps concentration level at maximum and shares his view on Belarus success at this tournament. 

- Anton, Russian national team continues to destroy opponents. What are your impressions after today’s game vs Azerbaijan?

- We did exactly what our head coach asked for. It is very important that we managed not to allow any goals today. The main thing is that we got three points, but it is always nice to get a comfortable win in front of the home crowd.

- Some teams feel too relaxed after victories like that…

- That is not the case with. We keep full concentration on the main task. You may think that we get all the wins too easy, but we work extremely hard for that. 

- Team Russia took an early lead in all 6 games at this tournament. It is probably not a coincidence, is it?

- We didn’t have a goal to smash the opponent from the very start, at least our coach ddi not set such a task for us. But I agree that it does not look like coincidence (smiles). Perhaps we are a little bit better prepared than our rivals.

- Belarus qualified to the World Cup for the first time in their history. You saw that in person today. What did you feel?

- I am really happy for the guys. I saw how they were celebrating after the end of Portugal- Poland game. It reminded me o emotions when we qualified to the World Cup for the first time n 2007. So I know exactly what they experienced and I wish the national team of Belarus to be successful in Paraguay. I think Belarus is able to surprise us again. 


- Russia will play Spain tomorrow. What do you expect from this game?

- It is a true rivalry in beach soccer. We love to play against each other. Our matches are always fun to watch. I'm sure tomorrow's fight will not be an exception. I hope for a good weather tomorrow, so that many fans could come to the stadium. 

- It it important for Russia to win the whole qualification tournament? Or booking flights to Paraguay would be enough?

- The value of the qualifying tournament is very high for us, because we are playing at home. We can not lose in front of our fans. If we can win the tournament, it will give us a lot of positive emotions.

- Russia wants to host 2021 World Cup. Are you planning to continue your career up to that moment?

- I really want the World Cup to be held in Russia. I am sure it will be a big event. As for me, I don’t look so far. All I think about is going to Paraguay and have a good result there. I just hope that I will stay health and then we can discuss my future plans.