As the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off this evening, Russia will hope to prevent unwanted history in the tournament as they hosts Saudi Arabia.
The Stanislav Cherchesov’s men must avoid defeat against Saudi in Moscow in order not to be the first hosts to ever lose the opening match at a World Cup.
Since the first World Cup in Uruguay (1930), no host team has lost in the opening match.
Speaking about the World Cup being hosted in Russia, Russian midfielder, Aleksandr Samedov said the motivation for this year’s tournament is special for the country.
“The motivation for these tournaments is special,” Samedov told FIFA.com.
“I already know what a World Cup is all about and how intense it is. It’s the highest stage you can play on.
“I’m staying calm in my preparations because psychology is an important factor too, although the pressure is there.
“It’s our home World Cup and we’re kick-starting the tournament. The whole world will be watching us.”
14:15 2018 World Cup: Sergio Ramos hits back at Diego Maradona22
10:24 2018 World Cup: Diego Costa gets angry, attacks journalists after Spain’s 1-0 win over Iran22
08:53 2018 World Cup: Rohr responds to Jose Mourinho’s criticism of Mikel21
19:14 World Cup 2018: Suarez’s goal takes Uruguay into second round as Saudi Arabia crashes out25