On the eve of Russia's opening game against South Korea on Tuesday, Russia coach Fabio Capello announced that defender Vasily Berezutsky would serve as captain of his squad at the football World Cup.
Capello's preferred choice of captain, midfielder Roman Shirokov, was ruled out of the tournament in early June after failing to recover from a knee injury.
"There are no weak teams in the tournament, this is the World Cup," Berezutsky said, speaking at a press conference on Monday in Cuiaba, Brazil. "We are not afraid of anyone and we are confident in our abilities."
Capello said his defender had an advantage over some of his teammates because he "speaks English and can communicate with the referees."
The 31-year-old CSKA Moscow defender has been with the national team since 2003, registering 78 international caps and scoring four goals.