MOSCOW - Russia coach Guus Hiddink has recalled experienced striker Alexander Kerzhakov for next month's 2010 World Cup qualifier against Finland. Kerzhakov, 26, who returned to the Russian league, joining Dynamo Moscow in February last year after an unsuccessful spell at Sevilla, has not played for the national team in almost two years. The leading Russian scorer in Euro 2008 qualifiers missed last year's Euro finals after being surprisingly left out of the team who reached the semi-finals in Austria and Switzerland. Hiddink selected newcomer Pavel Mamayev of CSKA Moscow and also recalled Spartak Moscow winger Vladimir Bystrov and CSKA Moscow defensive midfielder Yevgeny Aldonin in his 20-man squad for the June 10 match in Helsinki. Hiddink, who returns to his full-time job of coaching Russia after managing Chelsea on a short-term basis at the end of May, dropped several experienced players, including the Lokomotiv Moscow pair Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Dmitry Sychev. The Russians, with 12 points from five matches, are second in European Group Four, four points behind leaders Germany but with a game in hand. Squad: Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeyev (CSKA Moscow), Vyacheslav Malafeyev (Zenit St Petersburg), Vladimir Gabulov (Dynamo Moscow) Defenders: Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Alexei Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Zhirkov (CSKA Moscow), Denis Kolodin (Dynamo Moscow), Renat Yanbayev (Lokomotiv Moscow) Midfielders: Igor Semshov (Zenit St Petersburg), Konstantin Zyryanov (Zenit St Petersburg), Igor Denisov (Zenit St Petersburg), Sergei Semak (Rubin Kazan), Vladimir Bystrov (Spartak Moscow), Yevgeny Aldonin (CSKA Moscow), Pavel Mamayev (CSKA Moscow) Forwards: Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham Hotspur), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexander Kerzhakov (Dynamo Moscow).
26 May 2009
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