MOSCOW, July 8: Russian midfielder Aleksandr Samedov, along with veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich, have announced their retirement from international football.
The 33-year-old FC Spartak Moscow player Samedov, and the 38-year-old FC CSKA Moscow defender announced on Saturday their World Cup quarter-final defeat to Croatia was their last appearance with the Russian national team, reports Sputnik news agency.
“This was my last match with the national team,” Samedov told journalists.
Samedov, who will turn 34 in July, has been playing for the national team since 2011, earning a total of 52 caps, including three group-stage matches against Belgium, Algeria and South Korea at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Samedov won the Russian Premier League title with Spartak in 2017 and scored three goals in 28 matches for the Moscow club last season.
CSKA Moscow veteran Ignashevich, who will turn 39 on July 14, is Russia’s most capped player and played the whole game in what would become his 127th — and last — match for the team as they played valiantly but lost on penalties to Croatia.
“That’s it. It is very complicated to be aware of it that it all happened… Thank you all! I could not even imagine that i would finish my career on it highest peak. I am happy that i have been a part of this team, this coach and our football country for almost 20 years. I would like to thank CSKA Moscow football fans,” Ignashevich said in an emotional Instagram post.
The Russian team reached their first-ever FIFA World Cup quarter-final since the break-up of the Soviet Union. IANS