Soccer

The Latest: Russia lacks talent and desire, minister says

  • Alexander Shprygin, líder de un grupo de hinchas rusos, sostiene una bandera, al hablar ante reporteros tras su llegada a Moscú, deportado desde Francia, el sábado 18 de junio de 2016 (AP Foto/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    Alexander Shprygin, líder de un grupo de hinchas rusos, sostiene una bandera, al hablar ante reporteros tras su llegada a Moscú, deportado desde Francia, el sábado 18 de junio de 2016 (AP Foto/Alexander Zemlianichenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves the pitch after  the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Italy and Sweden at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Friday, June 17, 2016. Italy won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves the pitch after the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Italy and Sweden at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Friday, June 17, 2016. Italy won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves the pitch after  the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Italy and Sweden at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Friday, June 17, 2016. Italy won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves the pitch after the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Italy and Sweden at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Friday, June 17, 2016. Italy won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest from soccer's European Championship (all times local):

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11:53 a.m.

The head of Russia's football federation has blasted the country's players for a lack of talent and desire as they exited the European Championship in the group stage.

Vitaly Mutko, who is also Russia's Sports Minister, says fourth place in Group B with defeats to Wales and Slovakia "shows the real level of our football" ahead of a home World Cup in 2018.

Mutko tells Russian state news agency Tass that "we don't have any top class players right now" and that "perhaps many have a lack of desire to grow, to move, to perfect themselves."

Mutko adds Russia should focus on developing young players and improving the domestic league but "you can't change anything in an hour."