Arsène Wenger expects Russia to overcome any problems to deliver a memorable World Cup in 2018.
The Arsenal manager threw his weight behind England's bid for the tournament and has criticised FIFA's selection process since his adopted country was eliminated in the first round of voting on December 2.
But Wenger is delighted for Andrey Arshavin, the Arsenal forward who made an impressive speech to FIFA delegates in Zurich. And the Frenchman believes Russia has what it takes to do the World Cup proud.
"They have the advantage of hosting for the first time, also today they have the financial potential," Wenger told the Official Arsenal Magazine.
"It’s a very proud population and they will want to show the world they can do it in a great way. It looks like the country is developing well too. I think basically they have what it takes – money. They look like they have the financial power.
"Recently I would say that it [the standard of football in Russia] has improved very quickly – so has the quality of the hotels, the quality of the stadiums. Even if you look at Ukraine, it’s developing very fast. Overall it is a football country.
"I knew the contents of it [Arshavin's speech], because he told me before he went. He knew it by heart before he went and I thought it was a very good speech and very sensible."
Like most World Cup hosts, Russia will have problems to iron out. For example, Wenger believes the sheer magnitude of the country creates an issue.
"It takes four hours just to fly over Siberia, so that’s a disadvantage because it raises questions over communications," he said.
"The quality of the transport can be questioned too. Will they be answered in time, I don’t know, but I suppose they will make sure it is. Basically you can say two things: it’s a massive country and one that’s never had the World Cup before."
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