As part of The Soviet Union, Russia won the inaugural European Championship in 1960 and went onto put in impressive performances thereafter finishing as runners-up in 1964, 1972 and 1988. Since the break up of The Soviet Union Russia have qualified for every tournament except Euro 2000. Their best performance occurred when a Guus Hiddink inspired Russia reached the Semi-finals in 2008.
How They Qualified: Following Fabio Capello’s sacking in July 2015, Russia went on to win their remaining 4 group games and finish second in group G. They finished second and a massive eight points behind Austria. Importantly Russia stood two points ahead of Sweden to secure automatic qualification to Euro 2016. Striker Artyon Dzyuba top scored for the Russian with 8 goals in qualification.
Tournament History: Winners 1960 (as USSR).
Coach: Leonid Slutsky.
The CSKA Moscow coach answered his nations call to take the reins of the national team after the sacking of the worlds highest paid coach Fabio Capello. Slutsky now looks set to remain in charge for the tournament despite still donning the dubious title of interim manager. He is also juggling domestic duties where he has won back-to-back Russian titles. Slutsky famously ended his professional career when he fell out of a tree aged 19 while attempting to rescue a neighbor’s cat. Paw guy.
Key Man: Artyon Dzyuba.
Alan Dzagoev was dealt the crushing blow of being ruled out of Euro 2016 by injury just weeks before the tournament. This means that the Russians will be even more reliant on the goals of Artyon Dzyuba. The striker earned a move to Zenit St Petersburg from Slutky’s CSKA in 2015 and has averaged a goal every 0.53 games. He top scored for Russia in qualification but has had his ability consistently questioned by the Russian media in recent years. Doubts over Dzyuba’s work rate and ambition are a constant threat to the striker’s reputation.
One To Watch: Denis Cheryshev.
Despite being contracted to Real Madrid since the age of 11, the Russian winger has predictably never made an appearance for the first team. While on-loan at the calamitous Valencia this season has not done him any good, his performances on loan at Villarreal the previous year asserted the 25-year-old in the Russia squad.
June 10, 3 p.m. vs. England
June 15, 9 a.m. vs. Slovakia
June 20, 3 p.m. vs. Wales
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow), Yuri Lodygin (Zenit St Petersburg).
Defenders: Alexei Berezutski (CSKA Moscow), Vasili Berezutski (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Dmitri Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Roman Neustadter (Schalke 04), Georgi Schennikov (CSKA Moscow), Roman Shishkin (Lokomotiv Moscow), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit)
Midfielders: Dimitri Torbinski (Krasnodar), Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Oleg Ivanov (Terek Grozny), Pavel Mamaev (Krasnodar), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Oleg Shatov (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (CSKA Moscow), Artur Yusupov (Zenit St Petersburg).
Forwards: Artem Dzyuba (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexander Kokorin (Zenit St Petersburg), Fedor Smolov (Krasnodar)