The former coach of Russia’s national football team has revealed the painful discussions that took place following the team’s dismal performance at the 2016 UEFA European Championships last month.
Russia was eliminated from the tournament in France without winning a match, prompting coach Leonid Slutsky to resign.
Slutsky revealed in an interview with the Sports.ru website published Friday how the night after the team’s final game, a 3-0 loss to Wales, a group of players came to his hotel room and discussed the team’s failings until 9 a.m.
“The players and I very frankly evaluated our level and we all said it together: we’re s**t”, he said.
“We need to accept this fact. Like alcoholics have to say ‘Yes, I am an alcoholic,’ It’s an absolutely necessary part of the recovery,” Slutsky said.
“Unfortunately, not all the players have recognized this and I think it’s important. It allows you to move forward, however slowly.”
A petition on the site change.org calling for the entire Russian team to be replaced had on Friday attracted over 300,000 signatures.