The Russia Report
As part of our series on Russia's World Cup, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov tells Andy May the hosts can win in 2018.
Last Updated: 25/02/11 10:54am
When it comes to winning football's biggest prize, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is inspired by what France did in 1998 and the success that South Korea enjoyed in Asia in 2002.
The Everton winger is confident Russia can win their own World Cup in 2018 and says: "other countries have done it before so why not? We are looking forward to the next seven years and hopefully we can do it. Everything we are doing now is geared towards winning the competition, physically and technically we will be ready."
Although France were one of the favourites in '98, very few people predicted that South Korea would make it out of a group containing Portugal, Poland and USA, and then go on to lose in the third-place match against Turkey.
Bilyaletdinov thinks that Russia's chances in 2018 will be aided by his international team mates moving abroad.
"Wages are a problem in a way because internationals are well-paid in Russia and there is a chance to play in Europe so not many of us have made the move away."
"But I hope more players move because we need more practice against other players from other countries. I can see things changing after Euro 2014 if Russia play well."
At the moment Bilyaletdinov is one of only four Russia internationals in the Premier League, along with Andrei Arshavin, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Yuri Zhirkov.
When it comes to legacy - that Fifa buzz word - the team behind Russia's successful World Cup bid are hoping for far more than a few more Premier League stars. Alexander Djordjadze believes that the perception of his country will change.
"We want to present to the world a new Russia and in many ways we can achieve what Germany did in 2006 when they hosted the World Cup. This country is still haunted by images from decades ago in totally different times."
Tottenham and West Ham have recently fought hard to use the 2012 Olympic Stadium in London but several of the 2018 venues may not have a clear function after the tournament. For example, the new stadium in Saransk will seat more than 40,000 but the City has a population of only 300,000.
Not that this will be much of a concern for Bilyaletdinov who is keeping cool about his chances of playing in seven years. The Everton winger will be 33.
"I have a lot of dreams in football and this is just one of them."
Listen to the first of Andy May's reports from Russia here
You can hear the second of May's reports from Russia here as he investigates the threat of racism
May's third report looking at the stadia for 2018 is available here
How much would it cost to attend Russia 2018? Click here to listen to the full report.
Listen to the Diniyar Bilyaletdinov interview here