Head coach of the Russian national football team Leonid Slutsky believes that the matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in RussiaTM will have a positive impact on the improvement of Russian cities, in particular, on the development of his hometown of Volgograd.
"The World Cup will help improving the infrastructure, to turn Volgograd into a beautiful European city, and life in the city - more comfortable,” Slutsky told welcome2018.com. “Volgograd is my favorite city, but unfortunately, in recent years, it has not been in the best shape. I hope that the World Cup will help to change things for the better," he added.
Slutsky also said he hopes that the World Cup will bring Volgograd football to a new level. "I cannot say for sure if the World Cup will help to create the team of the European level in the city, but I hope that it will happen," Slutsky said.
In 2018 Volgograd will host four matches of the World Cup group stage. By 2018 the city will have a new stadium for 45,000 seats. Arena is being built on the site of the dismantled Central Stadium between Mamayev Kurgan and the right bank of the Volga river. The construction is expected to be completed in November 2017.
“My favorite team is the team of Platini”
Slutsky admitted that his favorite team, except the teams he has worked with, is the French team that included the current president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Michel Platini. "My favorite team is the French team in 1982-1984,” Slutsky said. “The first emotion stays forever, and the first football World Cup that I saw at the age when I could understand something was the 1982 FIFA World Cup,” he added.
In the 1982 World Cup the French national team took fourth place, and two years later won the European Championship. The chief coach of the French team at the time was Michel Hidalgo.
Answering a question about the players he would have chosen for the symbolic team of the world, Slutsky said: "This is a difficult question, but I can say that the best players in the world are currently playing in three clubs - the Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid. So my team would consist of players who play for these teams," Slutsky said.
Leonid Slutsky trained FC Uralan Elista (2003-2004), FC Moscow (2005-2007), FC Krylia Sovetov Samara (2007-2009). On October 26, 2009, he led CSKA Moscow. He is working with the team till this day. Under his leadership, the team twice became champions of the country (2012/13, 2013/14), won the Cup of Russia (2010/11, 2012/13) and the Super Cup (2013, 2014). In 2013, Slutsky received the title of honored coach of Russia.
In August 2015, Leonid Slutsky was appointed Head coach of the Russian national team.