Igor Akinfeev left the Russian football team
CSKA goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev announced his departure from the Russian national team.
The goalkeeper defended its colors from 2004 to 2018.
“Each story has its beginning and its end. That’s my story with the national team also came to its logical conclusion”, the official website of CSKA quotes Akinfeev.
It was a great honor for me to lead the Russian team to the home world championship as a captain. Honestly, I never dreamed about it. But it happened and was probably the peak of my career in the national team.
Yes, we did not win medals at the World Championships, but all the guys tried as best they could. The main thing is that noone was indifferent. And the exit to the quarter-finals was for this team even if it was local, but still a success.
15 years in the national team – a huge time. Every year it becomes more difficult to play on two fronts, to transfer the maximum load. Given past injuries, more and more time is required to recover. And now I have very clearly realized for myself that the time has come to give way to younger colleagues and concentrate on playing for my own club, CSKA. I leave with peace of mind: very good and promising young people have appeared in Russia, some guys have already shown themselves to be real leaders at this world championship.
We must believe in young football players and support them in every way. And let this generation prove to be much more successful than ours. We will only be glad of this!
I would like to thank all the coaches under whose leadership I performed in the national team, the partners with whom we have for many years defended the honor of our state, all the national team personnel and, of course, the multimillion army of Russian fans who invariably warm us and support us all cities of the country.