Fedor Smolov has suggested Russia are happy not to have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks as the team comes before any individual.
The Confederations Cup hosts take on the European champions in Moscow on Wednesday, with Smolov’s burgeoning reputation even leading to comparisons with the Real Madrid superstar.
The Krasnodar striker said: “It’s very difficult to build a team when you have such an individual among you as everything revolves around him.
“I haven’t given too much thought to these comparisons, I don’t think they are correct. The game will be difficult, we have our goals and targets and Cristiano will have his own.”
Asked if he would look to claim Ronaldo’s shirt at the final whistle, he was equally dismissive, stating: “There will be a long line but I won’t be taking it.”