"Goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and defender Omar Hawsawi", he added.
Yet given Saudi Arabia's high turnover of coaches, including a previous mid-World Cup sacking, the Argentine-born Pizzi could well be on his way before he gets a chance to try and rectify the situation.
"He knows it. He thanked me with two goals for helping him to achieve his dream and play at the World Cup".
Putin watched the game with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stretching across FIFA President Gianni Infantino to offer a consoling handshake to his Saudi guest as Yury Gazinsky put Russian Federation a goal up after 12 minutes.
The biggest World Cup opening match win since 1934 was sweet for the battered Russians and Cherchesov also had to explain they hadn't tried to deceive anyone in the run-up.
Among the celebrities to open the championship in the Russian capital were Brazil legend Ronaldo, Russian opera singer Aida Garifullina and British singer Robbie Williams.
VERDICT: Russia win in a low-quality game. Gazinsky charged forward to meet the ball as Saudi player Taisir Al-Jassam stumbled, leaving a simple finish.
Still, as high as the price tag is, economists say the massive effort won't be enough to generate much of a blip in Russia's nearly $1.5-trillion economy.
Hosting the tournament successfully "will contribute on the margins to easing Russia's isolation from Europe", says Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who's now a foreign policy analyst in Moscow.
"We need to recover, try to forget this shameful situation and start thinking about the next match", the Argentine said. They are due to face seven-time African Cup champions Egypt and Uruguay.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar in June 2017, severing diplomatic and transport ties with Doha.
A crowd of some 10,000 people, including many families with young children, gathered in a fanzone on a hill above the stadium with giant screens set up to watch the game.
But there was a major blow for the hosts mid-way through the half as star playmaker Dzagoev limped off with a hamstring injury, to be replaced by Cheryshev.