The Russia Euro 2020 squad for this summer has been released.
Consisting largely of players who ply their trade in Russia's Premier League, boss Stanislav Cherchesov has made the most of what he had at his disposal by including a small number of players playing elsewhere in Europe - including the talented Aleksandr Golovin.
Russia Euro 2020 squad
- GK: Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow)
- GK: Yury Dyupin (Rubin Kazan)
- GK: Matvei Safonov (Krasnodar)
- DF: Fyodor Kudryashov (Antalyaspor)
- DF: Georgi Dzhikiya (Spartak Moscow)
- DF: Igor Diveev (CSKA Moscow)
- DF: Vyacheslav Karavaev (Zenit)
- DF: Andrei Semenov (Akhmat)
- DF: Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow)
- DF: Roman Evgenyev (Dinamo Moscow)
- MF: Dmitri Barinov (Lokomotiv Moscow)
- MF: Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow)
- MF: Denis Cheryshev (Valencia)
- MF: Daniil Fomin (Dinamo Moscow)
- MF: Aleksandr Golovin (Monaco)
- MF: Daler Kuzyayev (Zenit Saint Petersburg)
- MF: Magomed Ozdoev (Zenit)
- MF: Rifat Zhemaletdinov (Lokomotiv Moscow)
- MF: Maksim Mukhin (Lokomotiv Moscow)
- MF: Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit Saint Petersburg)
- FW: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit Saint Petersburg)
- FW: Anton Zabolotny (Sochi)
- FW: Aleksandr Sobolev (Spartak Moscow)
- FW: Aleksei Ionov (Krasnodar)
- FW: Denis Makarov (Rubin)
- FW: Aleksei Miranchuk (Atalanta)
Russia Euro 2020 squad: Team profile
Morale could barely have been lower before Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup, but reaching the quarter-finals against all expectations completely changed attitudes towards the national team. Their popularity instantly mushroomed, and even moderately positive results were accepted with enthusiasm. In previous years, they would have been slaughtered in the press after being totally outclassed in qualifying clashes with Belgium, but fans were appeased with four wins over Scotland and Cyprus instead.
In that respect, the delay to Euro 2020 hasn’t been good for Russia. Momentum ground to a halt as memories of that heroic last 16 performance against Spain faded. Ageing regulars like 37-year-old Yuri Zhirkov are now even closer to the glue factory, while Russia’s young talents have yet to make a serious impression. Meanwhile, Zenit Saint Petersburg striker Artem Dzyuba was temporarily omitted last autumn after a video of the nation’s 2018 darling indulging in some online onanism went viral on social media.
Russian fans now view their national team as a bunch of average players. Not without good reason, either, considering their 5-0 thrashing by Serbia in their final game of 2020 (six days after a strong team drew a friendly in Moldova). In March, successive World Cup qualifier wins were followed by defeat to Slovakia.
The transfers of major stars to Europe’s top leagues haven’t really worked out. Despite moments of sparkle, Aleksandr Golovin has failed to establish himself at Monaco; the same can be said of Aleksei Miranchuk, who warms Atalanta’s bench. Daler Kuzyaev and Roman Zobnin should have tried their luck abroad, but such moves failed to materialise.
Then there’s the coach. Stanislav Cherchesov took the reins after Russia’s miserable Euro 2016 campaign, but having eventually won round his doubters, he’s now under intense scrutiny again. Some of his squad decisions have been odd – his public criticism of CSKA Moscow frontman Fyodor Chalov particularly unhelpful.
Russia are used to underachieving at this tournament. Apart from reaching the semi-finals in 2008, they failed to make it out of the group in 1996, 2004 and 2012.
Expectations this time around aren’t really much better.
Russia Euro 2020 squad: Who is Russia's manager?
Cherchesov became manager of Russia in the summer of 2016, and will lead them again for Euro 2020. The 57-year-old became the first-ever Russian manager, since the collapse of the USSR, to take Russia to the knockout stages of a tournament during the 2018 World Cup - Dutchman Guus Hiddink achieved this feat at Euro 2008. Beating Spain in the Round of 16, Russia reached the quarter-finals.
Cherchesov has managed across Russia's Premier League, including with Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow, though didn't enjoy success. However, during his spell with Legia Warsaw in the 2015/16 season, he won the Polish league and Polish Cup.
Russia Euro 2020 squad: Who is Russia's best player?
Twenty-four-year-old Aleksandr Golovin is Russia's best player, providing key passes from his attacking midfield position. A naturally quick player, Golovin's speed of thought allows him to drive more incisively through opposition defences, while his ability with both feet means he can go either way.
The Monaco man is one of a handful of Russia's squad that plays elsewhere on the continent, and is influential in the team's success. Having played 36 times already for his country, Golovin has weighed in with five goals, including at the 2018 World Cup.
Russia's past Euros record
As Soviet Union, the state won the inaugural competition in 1960, before finishing as runners-up in two of the next three tournaments. They didn't qualify for the Euros between 1972 and 1988, where they once again finished as runners-up in the final - their last tournament as Soviet Union.
The nation then entered Euro 92 as the Commenwealth of Independent States, where they were unable to advance from the group stages. Euro 96 welcomed the nation of Russia, as we know it, for the first time, where they once again couldn't progress from the group stages.
Russia suffered the same fate at Euro 2004, 2012 and 2016, while they didn't even qualify for Euro 2000. However, their best finish as Russia came in 2008, when Guus Hiddink led the nation to the semi-finals. Russia lost to eventual winners Spain 3-0.
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