Russia football coach Guus Hiddink was amazed at the reception his team received here on Friday after returning to the country following the exploits at the Euro 2008 championships in Switzerland and Austria.
Hiddink, who led Russia to the semi-finals where they lost 3-O to Spain on Thursday night, said: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are very amazed that you have all come here to Luzhniki stadium to honour our boys and I think we can be very proud of you because you are very committed to this team, you have enjoyed the team.
“And we are very proud and I'm very proud that I've been working with these guys. Give them a big hand, they deserve it.”
Then the best moments of Russia at Euro 2008 were transmitted on giant screens to the crowds at the stadium.
The Soviet Union team reached the 1988 final, losing to a Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten-inspired Holland, but this was Russia's best performance since the fall of the iron curtain a year later.
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