The last time a joy like that happened at Russia v Netherlands in 2008. I wore the same flag! We are going to smash Scotland 3-1! – Who will score? – Dzyuba, of course! Russia is the land of football! Not Brazil!! Your rocket of the shot tonight – where does it stand in your personal hit-parade of goals? Definetely top-3! Hello, dear friends! And let me again welcome you to a game of football! And not just any game – but at a place which in my mind associates with absolute magic! Why? Because the last time Team Russia played here – it knocked Spain out of the World Cup! And today it plays against Scotland here. And, as always, i’ll chat with the fans, go to the game and grasp the atmosphere! COME ON! Im standing here and thinking – Luzhniki associates in my mind with “heroics”! Because it was here that Spain was sent home by Russia during the World Cup! And the weather today makes it a bit heroic for the fans to come see the match Do you agree? That Luzhniki is the place of heroics? Well, it it was -40 and people came here – it would’ve been heroic! But it is actually normal Moscow weather. Typical weather for this time of year. So no heroics here. That game against Spain – i was there and saw people cry the tears of joy when i walked out of the stadium Do you think Team Russia is now loved more because of that? I think that match became a breaking point. After which people started believing in the team and go to the games. I am from Samara. And after that game, we had a mural on top of a tall building – Akinfeev’s foot, Dzyuba’s goal celebration and Cherchesov! Those emotions are unforgettable! And the World Cup in Russia became a BIG moment for many children here. And for us, fans, too. The last time a joy like that happened at Russia v Netherlands in 2008. I wore the same flag! So it is a lucky flag. And i hope that Russia will be as good at the Euro-2020 as it was in 2008. So you’re saying we will definetely be there, right? No chance of us missing out! We have a game against Cyprus after this, and a 1-1 there would be enough. Ok, we have moved on from the emotional World Cup. Do you like the way the national team plays now? Some people believe the style is a bit boring. Well, there is always room for improvement. But i believe the team is playing to its strengths. The spark is there, for sure. I am a little concerned that our team is not too young. Take Zhirkov, for instance. Excellent on the flank at his age – but what will happen after he’s gone? Will we have enough youth to take over? I like that our lad from Samara – Sobolev – has been called up He’s not in the squad today though. Unfortunately not. But he’s been called up – and that’s a step in the right direction. He’s a hot prospect. We need more youth players. Like Chalov! Everyone’s been asking – where is Chalov? But you look to be confident of a win tonight, right? We have a good vibe, in any case. And we have to play for a win, yes! Defeat is not an option! But they have to make sure all of us enjoy the match, at the very least. There’s not too many of them, but they are proud! I remember like it was yesterday – when i walked down this alley from Luzhniki after Russia beat Spain. When NOBODY had expected that. And what a save by Akinfeev then! And i remember hoards of happy people around me..YES, that was so! People were going mental becaus of how happy they were! Nobody expected that, right? Yeah, you are right – nobody expected that result! But tonight we are going to smash Scotland 3-1! – Who will score? – Dzyuba, of course! Sounds like a great plan! A hat-trick? Nah, i don’t think he’ll get a hat-trick! Did that game against Spain change our attitude towards the national team? Sure! That game and the games before that too. The team has changed a LOT! Just compare how it was viewed before the World Cup and now. I’d say now everything’s much better! It is playing much much better. And football is developing better in Russia now. Do you like the way the team is playing now? Some say the style’s a bit dry and boring – but i disagree. I disagree too. It is playing good football – and a lot of youth players have joined since the World Cup. Where are people like Chalov? Sobolev was called up, but not even on the bench tonight. I cant tell you that. It is up to Cherchesov to decide who plays and who does not. Meaning you still trust him 100%? Of course! I still trust the “moustache of hope”! Last and easy question – what are you expecting of the game tonight? Only victory! Three goals to nil! Here it is – the international spirit of friendship! Do you often see a Scottish man chanting “Russia, Russia!”. Might be the first time for me! My apologies for such a massive doze of nostalgia, friends. But i remember the World Cup Final match here too. When i had to run to a live hit outside of the stadium – and a HUGE rain started! We were all soaked and did not understand, as the old song goes – was that rain or tears? It was all so good! Almost makes you want to put those times in a bottle and carry till the end of days. The World Cup in Russia was a truly magical time! Do people love our national team again – after that game against Spain? I think so, yes. Women and children love it too these days. Before, i think mostly men supported it. But now women and children come to the stadiums too. And the World Cup played a huge role in that! When it comes to football, do you like the way the team has been playing after the World Cup? I think we are playing much much better now – compared to the past. And if we qualify for the Euros now – it will be just another proof of how better our team has become! Will we qualify? Of course! And we’ll win tonight! What score? Well, not 5-0, but likely 3-1! Tonight’s opponent of Russia – Scotland – started the qualifying campaign well. They won their first two games – and then lost four, including at home against Russia. They have almost no chance of making it out of the group, but there is some intrigue to this game. Because Cyprus beat Kazakhstan – and the win tonight would’ve taken Russia to the Euros. All is possible tonight – and Scotland too has national pride at stake! We shall see. Let’s go inside! The stadium is almost full, which brings back good memories. Russia v Scotland – lets go! Fabio, i know why Scotland is playing so poorly! Because Andy Robertson barely leaves his own half. You think he should be playing in attack? If he moves forward, they might get something here. That is the way he has been playing at Liverpool. And now he’s all defensive. Yeah. They are playing poorly upfront. So maybe they should put him in attack – as it cannot really produce any threat You cannot even call this a chance! The first half ends 0-0. Russia’s been better than the away team, who have been pretty dire. These lads over there looked bored and barely uttered a sound. 0-0 at the break. We’ll see! These lads have made such a long journey – from Glasgo and Edinburgh – but are now sad. Some are leaving. 2-0!!!! WHAT A STRIKE!!!! ABSOLUTE CANNONBALL!!! Last weekend, Ozdoev finished off a great combination with Azmoun at FC Ural – and i was there. And now its BOOOOOM!!!! Honestly, that last game here – against Spain – was memorable, but boring altogether. But now they are playing electric football! Attack after attack! Nearly scored the third now Pure fire! Team Russia – is that you?! That’s it! Game over for Scotland! Hey, lads! What bad has Scotland done to you? It’s FOUR – NIL! Here he is – the hero! And he is so fondly loved here at the Luzhniki! THATS ALL! The final score is 4-0 Tell me – did you expect a score like that? No. I knew that Scotland were average. But after 0-0 at half time, scoring FOUR is tremendous! Fantastic 2nd half! Scotland is a little better than Saudi Arabia – by one goal! And twice better than San Marino – who just lost 9-0! Look – the attendance for tonight’s match is 65 thousand! That is amazing for Luzhniki! Russia is the land of football! Not Brazil!! Your rocket of the shot tonight – where does it stand in your personal hit-parade of goals? Definetely top-3! Were you bored at the goal today? Yeah, not too much work for me today. Only one shot in the 2nd half. But the team played exceptionally well today – to make sure they had no chances. And it is good! A clean sheet for the national team and for the club – how different do they feel? They don’t feel too different to me, because i am always trying to keep a clean sheet. The result is what matters the most – and today we have achieved a very important win! Do you feel nervous ahead of the game against Cyprus? They scored twice against Kazakhstan today. Yeah, it won’t be easy. All of us are expecting a tough game over there. They still have a chance to qualify – that is why it will not be easy for us there. That is why we celebrate tonight – the win and the atmosphere at Luzhniki. But tomorrow we will start focusing on the Cyprus game. It feels so damn good – to walk down this alley at Luzhniki with a winning feeling! Tonight’s win might seem less significant than the previous one – in June 2018, But what a great win it is – the 4-0 demolition of Scotland! And Russia is thus one step closer to Euro2020. Hope you liked the blog, dear friends! Subscribe, like, share and comment – i will always reply! On Monday you will see a MEGA-exclusive here – an interview with the UEFA President! Thanks for being with me! Bye!