Andrey Arshavin admits he is not surprised by the scale of disappointment felt by England after their failed 2018 World Cup bid.
England lost out to Arshavin's native Russia in a controversial vote in Zurich last week, when the Arsenal playmaker delivered a moving speech during Russia's final presentation.
The 29-year-old moved to England in January 2009 and understands the nation's upset at failing to win over Fifa's executive committee given their passion for the game.
"It was predictable, you love football," he said.
"I see it every day, football in England is a religion.
"When I came back, Jack Wilshere said to me: 'heh, what have you done? I dreamed to lift the trophy in front of my own supporters!'
"I can understand him, but I said 'you still have time to wait'."
However, Arshavin is thrilled about the opportunities Russia's first World Cup will provide his homeland.
"It will help our country to improve, not just in terms of football," he said.
"It will be perfect, believe me - if Vladimir Putin wants something, he does really well."
Arshavin was jeered by some Fulham supporters on Saturday for his part in England's defeat and is yet to commit his long-term future to Arsenal.
"It depends how long I am going to play, if one week, yes, if five or six years, I don't know. It is difficult to say," he added.
"The English league is the best and everybody dreams to play here."