Tens of thousands of people on Sunday gathered in central Moscow to pay tribute to the national team hours after it was eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup by Croatia on a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals.Also Read - FIFA World Cup 2022 Organisers Hoping For More Indian Eyeballs Than Previous Edition

Players went to the fan zone located in Sparrow Hills to thank fans for their support throughout the tournament. Also Read - Pele Backs Kylian Mbappe to Become Best Player of His Generation, Says French Forward Can Emulate His Tally of 1000 Goals

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“We played with the heart and soul. These boys have made history. We played for you!” goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who was the hero against Spain in the round of 16, said.

Having been the target of criticism before the tournament, head coach Stanislav Cherchesov was given a standing ovation while addressing fans.

After Croatia took the lead in the extra-time of their last-eight clash, Cherchesov asked fans to back his team.

Fyodor Smolov, who missed in the penalty shootout, said he understood fans’ anger.