“Judging by his performance for Arsenal Tula there were no questions about Dzyuba’s [abilities]. I think he proved that he was better than his rivals for a place in the team. Was there some sort of row between [head coach] Stanislav Cherchesov and Dzyuba? Both said that there was no conflict…  Apparently, during his time on the team Dzyuba showed he was determined and ready to help the team,” Kiriakov said.

Earlier on Sunday, the Russian Football Union announced the final 23-man squad for the upcoming World Cup with Dzyuba and veteran defender Sergei Ignashevich included, while midfielder Aleksandr Tashayev and forward Fedor Chalov missed out.

Kiriakov said that the coaching staff had to pass on Chalov and Tashayev because “it is too early for such young players to play at this level” and opted for more experienced players.

Former Dynamo Moscow striker added that the 11 players who start the friendly against Turkey on June 5 would most likely to be the ones to play in the first match of the tournament against Saudi Arabia.

Russia will host its first-ever FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15. The matches will be played at 12 stadiums in 11 cities across the country. Russia will face Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay in Group A.