Moscow, June 15: Denis Cheryshev’s dream turned true Thursday night here after his two goals helped hosts Russia crush Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the World Cup opener. The Villarreal and former Real Madrid youth team winger however, was not in the starting XI. He came on midway into the first half to replace injured midfielder Alan Dzagoev.
The player however, refused to be drawn into a controversy when asked whether he deserved a place in the starting line-up.
“I always respect the decision of the coach. If he decides to call on me, I will be ready. I was happy to be among the 23 to be at the World Cup and I want to continue to work hard as part of the team,” he told reporters.
The goals were Cheryshev’s first in 12 appearances for his country. He said he was overwhelmed with emotions, after suffering a series of injuries throughout his career.
“There are no words to express my feelings right now. I dreamed of a night like this. I’m happy for my team and my family. They have suffered so much with my injuries and they deserve this result. I’m extremely happy that we have won but we shouldn’t relax,” he signed off.