Soccer

Russia lacks talent and desire, minister says

  • A Russian supporter looks on during the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between Russia and Wales at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    A Russian supporter looks on during the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between Russia and Wales at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russia coach Leonid Slutsky stands before the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between Russia and Wales at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Russia coach Leonid Slutsky stands before the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between Russia and Wales at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian supporters are pushed back as they shout at their team after Russia lost the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between Russia and Wales at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

    Russian supporters are pushed back as they shout at their team after Russia lost the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between Russia and Wales at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)  (The Associated Press)

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."