Euro 2016 - Russia team profile

Russia have qualified for the Euro 2016 finishing second in their qualification group. They will play against England, Slovakia and Wales.

Brief History at the Euros

Russia played their first matches after 1990, after the Soviet Union's breakup. FIFA considers Russia as Soviet Union's successor.

The Soviet Union participated at the inaugural European Championships in 1960. In the quarter-finals they were scheduled to face Spain but because of political reasons Spain didn't travel to play the game, thus the Soviet Union advanced to the semi-final where they defeated Czechoslovakia 3–0 and reached the final, where they faced Yugoslavia.

In the final, Yugoslavia opened the scoresheet, the Soviet's until the end of 90 minutes and Viktor Ponedelnik scored in the extra time for the Soviets. Ponedelnik's goal and a remarkable game by the legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin gave the Soviets the inaugural European Championship trophy.


Soviet Union 1960

Soviet Union celebrating the trophy (Source: Kitbag.com)

In 1964 the European Championship was held in Spain in the last 16 the Soviets eliminated Italy then in the quarter-finals Sweden. In the semi-finals, the Soviet Union defeated Denmark 3–0 but they couldn't defend their title losing to the home side in the final 2-1.

In 1968 the USSR reached the final tournament again (only four teams could reach this stage). In the semi-final they played against Italy and the game ended 0–0. This will sound bizarre but the winner was decided by tossing a coin as the penalty shoot-out was not introduced yet. Italy won, and went on to become European champions, while the Soviets played for the third place and they were defeated by England.

In 1972 at the final tournament participated four teams. In the semi-final the Soviets defeated Hungary 1–0. They faced West Germany in the final and thanks to german legend Gerd Müller's two goals the germans won the trophy 3-0.

Between 1976 and 1984 the Soviets didn't qualify for the final tournaments of the European Championship. They returned to the Euros in 1988, the Soviets reached the semi-final after finishing their group first placed. In the semi-final they defeated Italy 2–0. The final put them against Netherlands who they beat in the group stage 1-0, but the final was a different game and the Netherlands won 2-0. This was the last tournament the USSR participated at.


Netherlands vs USSR

Netherlands vs USSR Euro 1988 final (Source: worldsoccer.com)

From 1996 they participated at international tournaments as Russia. In 1996 they exited the competition after the group stage after drawing one game and losing two. They didn't qualify to the 2000 UEFA Euro.

Russia returned in 2004 in Portugal but they again left the competition early after only one win in the group stage, losing the other two. The 2008 competition was more successful Russia reached the semi-final after kicking out Netherlands in the quarter-final 3-1. In the semi-final they lost against the eventual Euro winners Spain 3-0.

At the latest Euro final tournament in 2012 the russians finished third in their group behind Czech Republic and Greece, thus exiting the competition again after the group stage.

Russia road to Euro 2016

Russia was part of group G along with Austria, Sweden, Montenegro, Liechtenstein and Moldova. They finished second place two points ahead of third place Sweden.

Thanks to their second-placed finishing they achieved automatic qualification. They finished with 20 points winning six games, drawing two and losing two.

The complete table:

# Team MP W D L GF GA +/- Pts
1 Austria
10 9 1 0 22 5 +17 28
2 Russia
10 6 2 2 21 5 +16 20
3 Sweden
10 5 3 2 15 9 +6 18
4 Montenegro
10 3 2 5 10 13 -3 11
5 Liechtenstein
10 1 2 7 2 26 -24 5
6 Moldova
10 0 2 8 4 16 -12 2

The results obtained by Russia:

Home Result Away
Russia
4 - 0 Liechtenstein
Sweden
1 - 1 Russia
Russia
1 - 1 Moldova
Austria
1 - 0 Russia
Montenegro
0 - 3 Russia
Russia
0 - 1 Austria
Russia
1 - 0 Sweden
Liechtenstein
0 - 7 Russia
Moldova
1 - 2 Russia
Russia
2 - 0 Montenegro

Russia Euro 2016 squad and group

(Confirmed 23-man squad)

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moscow), Yuri Lodygin (Zenit St. Petersburg)

Defenders: Alexei Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Roman Neustadter (Schalke), Georgy Shchennikov (CSKA Moscow), Roman Shishkin (Lokomotiv Moscow), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St Petersburg)

Midfielders: Igor Denisov (Dynamo Moscow), 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), Dmitri Torbinski (Krasnodar)

Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexander Kokorin (Zenit St Petersburg), Fyodor Smolov (Krasnodar)

Russia is part of group B at the European Championship. They will face England, Slovakia and Wales.

Group B
England
Russia
Slovakia
Wales

Russia will play against England in the first round, the last times the two teams met were in the 2007 in the Euro 2008 qualifiers Russia lost the first game 3-0 but then won at home 2-1.

The second game will be against Slovakia. The most recent encounters between the two teams were in 2014 in an international friendly and Russia won 1-0.

Their third game will be with Wales. The last time the two teams met was in 2008 and 2009 in the World Cup Qualifiers Russia won both games 2-1 and 3-1.

Russia(USSR) All Time Records

The top 5 players with the most appearances:

# Name Career C
1 Sergei Ignashevich 2002–pres. 115
2 Oleg Blokhin 1972 – 1988 112
3 Viktor Onopko 1992–2004 109
4 Vasili Berezutskiy 2003–pres. 93
5 Aleksandr Kerzhakov 2002-pres. 91

The top 5 players with the most goals:

# Name Career G
1 Oleg Blokhin 1972–1988 42
2 Aleksandr Kerzhakov 2002-pres. 30
3 Oleg Protasov 1984–1991 29
4 Valentin Ivanov 1956–1965 26
4 Vladimir Beschastnykh 1992–2003 26

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Check out also:

Slovakia team profile
England team profile
Wales team profile

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