Message is to love your team, not hate opposition
against the opposite side.”
Smertin said the tournament gave Russia a chance to show itself to the world.
“To me, if you asked me 10 years ago about the World Cup when I was a professional player, I would have said we need first place, second place, third place, gold medal,” he said.
“Get through the group, win the first game, as many as we can.
“Now, I don’t think like this. Of course I have shaking legs before kickoff because I’m a football player.
“I think this is a huge opportunity, a possibility to showcase to everyone how we can host the World Cup.
“Because our country is quite historically multicultural, we respect everyone.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to invite everyone to show them our culture, our history, our warmth and this is the most important.”