Four months later, the Russian team has gone some distance in proving him and some home fans wrong.
The Los Blancos star and his Croatia side stand in the way of England and their hopes of reaching their first World Cup final since 1966.
This was quickly followed up with a 3-1 win over Egypt and Cherchesov's' team punching their ticket for the Round of 16.
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic, left, dropped more than $A5,000 on the bar tab.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic is excited to see playing at his best for the Vatreni in his last appearance at the FIFA World Cup.
The path to the final, to history in fact, could not have been easier-no, England cannot be considered a strong side-and this is Croatia's best chance, if they make use of the incredible talent they have in midfield.
"We know their set-pieces are risky, they have scored seven times from them, but we have no reason to be nervous, we are relieved of any pressure and are here to enjoy ourselves", he said. "But I am sure one of us will find a way to surprise him".
Luka Modric's supreme season for club and country means he should win the Ballon d'Or, according to Croatia legend Davor Suker.
After far exceeding expectations in the early stage of the competition, Russian Federation was knocked out by Croatia on Saturday in the quarter finals, leading many in the host nation to stop following the tournament.
"We've been always returning to the 1998 team. putting a new burden on Modric and his team".
"Just as much as if I played and we lost every match, I don't think it would be my fault either".
Squares packed with red-and-white painted fans, stalls selling football jerseys and flares, and drivers blaring their horns, people hugging and singing - scenes reminiscent of 1998 are all around as the country of around four million people lives and breathes football.
"We trusted ourselves. We could only prove our worth by working hard", Cherchesov said.
Croatia may be best suited to counter-attacking and relying on the brilliance of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic against England, according to former global Filip Tapalovic.