Euro 2012 team guide and squad: Russia

IT IS difficult to predict which Russia will turn up to Euro 2012. Will it be the swashbuckling team of 2008 that rampaged to the semi-finals under Guus Hiddink, or has their star faded as badly as that of some of its key men from that era?

The fact that Russia topped their group in the qualifying campaign has disguised the fact that they are not as exhilirating a team as they were four years ago (it also helps that their group, Ireland apart, proved relatively easy to negotiate, save for a surprise 1-0 defeat to Slovenia). Moreover, some of the standout players of that time who had secured big-money transfers to English clubs - Roman Pavlyuchenko, Andrei Arshavin and Yuri Zhirkov - were, to varying degrees, underwhelming for their respective clubs. Arshavin, who had enjoyed such a dazzling Euro 2008, only showed brief glimpses of his best while at Arsenal.

That said, there is good reason for Dick Advocaat’s side to remain optimistic. In CSKA Moscow’s Alan Dzagoev, the Russians have a midfielder who can create opportunities and contribute to the goal tally, too - a return of 25 league goals in neearly 100 games is testament to that.

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KEY MAN: Andrei Arshavin, despite his poor form and rock-bottom confidence, remains a talismanic figure for the Russian side. If he is to recapture some of the magic that left such an indelible impression on Euro 2008, then the likes of Dzagoev and Roman Shirokov will need to shoulder some of the responsibility for propelling the team forward. Shirokov had a poor Euro 2008 - he had a woeful game against Spain in Russia’s opening group fixture - but the defensive midfielder has since become a pivotal figure for the national side. The Zenit St Petersburg player is also what you might euphemistically call a ‘personality’, his regular Twitter missives and outspoken views attracting comparisons to Joey Barton.

ODDS: 25/1




June 8, Czech Republic (Wroclaw, Pol)

June 12, Poland (Warsaw, Pol)

June 16, Greece (Warsaw, Pol)

THE COACH: Dick Advocaat - Though not averse to imbuing his teams with a dash of bravado, the former Rangers manager is a pragmatist first. He has reinforced the Russian rearguard, making them tougher to breach, though they are somewhat less adventurous as a result. He has also been criticised for a conservative attitude to squad, favouring established names over in-form players. Given the inherent pressure of succeeding as popular a figure as Hiddink, Advocaat has done a solid job overall, though it is widely thought that Russia would be exceeding expectations to make it past the quarter-finals.

He said it...

“When you first meet him you often find him to be annoying, and you have to control yourself not to say anything, But [Clarence] Seedorf is a dominant personality in a positive way.”



Igor Akinfeyev (CSKA Moscow)

Vyacheslav Malafeyev (Zenit St Petersburg)

Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow)


Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg)

Alexei Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow)

Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow)

Roman Sharonov (Rubin Kazan)

Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow)

Kirill Nababkin (CSKA Moscow)


Igor Denisov (Zenit St Petersburg)

Roman Shirokov (Zenit St Petersburg)

Konstantin Zyryanov (Zenit St Petersburg)

Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala)

Alan Dzagoyev (CSKA Moscow)

Igor Semshov (Dynamo Moscow)

Denis Glushakov (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Marat Izmailov (Sporting) Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow)


Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal)

Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg)

Roman Pavlyuchenko (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow)

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham)

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