Russia’s Ilya Kutepov has been lauded for his gutsy performance against Croatia where the defender played 100 minutes with a nasty injury.
The 24-year-old defender played the full quarter final fixture, which saw the host nation knocked out of the World Cup on penalties, despite suffering from a heavy bruise and a cut to his right foot.
The Russian National Football Team posted on Instagram to commend Kutepov for his “character and patience.”
“This is the leg of Ilya Kutepov,” Russia posted on Instagram.
“He was injured in the first half of the match with Croatia, and ahead was another 100 minutes.
“But our defender did not flinch and played to the end.”
Kutepov started every match for Russia during their World Cup campaign, which exceeded many fans expectations.
Their most notable performance was against the 2010 champions, Spain, who they knocked out in the Round of 16.
The Spartak Moscow defender posted his own message on Instagram following their exit from the World Cup.
“It was the best time, it was unforgettable moments, this should be cherish,” Kutepov posted on Instagram.
“Pride in the coaching, administrative, medical staff that manage to hold this World Cup together.”