Russia’s most-capped player, Sergei Ignashevich, has announced his retirement after the hosts were eliminated from the World Cup by Croatia, ESPN confirms.
Ignashevich, 38, who spent his club career in Russia, was a key member of his country’s run to the quarterfinals, playing in each of their five matches.
He earned 127 caps, scoring nine goals, and holds the record for the most international appearances by any Russian player.
“This was my last World Cup, my last tournament and the last match of my soccer career.
If it wasn’t for the World Cup, I think I would have ended [my career] earlier,” Ignashevich said in a video on social media. “The World Cup was a strong motivation of me. I feel joy, a feeling of peace because I am ending on a high note. “I am playing at the World Cup. I am playing on a great team with a great coach, a real coach, and with players who give themselves fully to the game.”
Ignashevich was one of the successful penalty takers in the 4-3 shootout defeat to Croatia and was also on target from the spot when they beat Spain on penalties.
“Anything can happen in soccer. But here no one was dissatisfied, not in the dressing room and not on the pitch,” he said.
“I plan to receive a coaching license in December. I would like to become a coach, a good coach.”