Igor Akinfeev has revealed that Russia wanted to take on England at Euro2016.
The Russians meet the Three Lions in the opening Group B match in Marseille on Saturday and the CSKA Moscow goalkeeper admits it was a wish of he and his teammates to be drawn against Roy Hodgson and Wayne Rooney's side in France.
"We knew before the groups were drawn that we had to play a top seed," Akinfeev was quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror.
"We talked about it, and how we wanted to be drawn with England.
"It's no disrespect to England, they have some very good players, but if you look at the other top seeds we could have drawn, they are all among the favourites to win the championship.
"England are a good team, but we feel we can match them with our quality."
This mirrors the comments made by striker Artem Dzyuba suggesting that Russia seriously fancy themselves against the Three Lions this weekend.