Russian Federation can keep on partying after fine World Cup run

Meeting Putin will be Trump's toughest test

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov hopes that his team's performance at their own World Cup this summer has positively changed perceptions after the hosts were initially tipped to struggle and exit the tournament at the group stage.

"I think the fact that we're having a summit at this level, at this time in history, is a deliverable in itself".

"He said that what we showed on the field was great".

Putin attended the team's World Cup opening win against Saudi Arabia and although he has not been present at their other matches he has been keeping in touch with Cherchesov.

Cherchesov then devised a clever game plan to counter Spain's passing game, which allowed Russian Federation to eventually squeeze past the 2010 world champions and into the last eight. You see there are changes going on in the team. I won't dare forecast too far ahead.

"Of course we wanted to go further", he admitted.

"From the first second I put together this team, I knew where it was heading", he said.

He world cup may not resolve Russia's economic concerns but it has certainly gave it a positive image, something that the "undemocratic" Putin administration will make full use of in its future global dealings.

He also responded to a question on whether the team enjoyed the trust of the country. "When they are asked for some information, they are very friendly".

We do however, have a reasonable idea of the issues the two leaders and their aides will have mapped out before the meeting: the areas where they each want something from their counterpart, and the places they are willing to give ground.

"The president believes a better relationship with Russia would be good for both America and Russia, but the ball really is in Russia's court and the president will continue to hold Russia accountable for its malign activity", Jon Huntsman, US ambassador to Russia, told reporters on a conference call.

"We trusted ourselves. We could only prove our worth by working hard", Cherchesov said.

There was euphoria across the country following the victory, as a Russian team written off before the tournament even began continued to defy expectations.

The US president, whose 2016 election campaign is being probed for possible collusion with Russian Federation, has said repeatedly he wants to have a good relationship with Washington's former Cold War foe, despite tensions between Russian Federation and the West over Ukraine, Syria and alleged election meddling around the world. They are still great guys for us, they are heroes.

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