Smolov: Russia wouldn't want a player like Ronaldo

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The Krasnodar attacker says that he will not seek the Portugal attacker's shirt when the sides go head-to-head on Wednesday in the Confederations Cup

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.

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Smolov played down any talk of similarities and also stressed Stanislav Cherchesov's men were happy to focus on the collective as they try to appease an expectant Russian public by making it two wins from two following Saturday's 2-0 victory over New Zealand.

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."

Smolov, who netted Russia's second against the All Whites at the weekend, is hoping the home fans can drive Cherchesov's side on to a morale-boosting victory at the Spartak Stadium.

"It's going to be a tough game against the European champions, plus Ronaldo. Everyone knows it's not going to be easy but I hope the full stadium will add to the emotional aspect, be a force and help us get the result we want."

Smolov has been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund, especially if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opts to leave Signal Iduna Park, but the 27-year-old is happy to postpone all transfer talk until after the Confederations Cup is finished.

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He said: "As far as discussions are concerned I will not think about them until the end of the tournament.

"Everyone, including myself, is aware when it's the right time to discuss it and when it's right to focus on an upcoming game."


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