Euro 2012 - Squad profiles: Russia

Tue, 05 Jun 13:09:00 2012

We profile the players who will represent Russia at Euro 2012.

Alan Dzagoev - 0

Igor Akinfeyev (CSKA Moscow) Born: 08.04.86 Caps: 52. Played in all five games at Euro 2008, helping them to the semi-finals, a best championship showing in 20 years. Made his debut in friendly against Norway in April 2004, aged 18, becoming Russia's third-youngest debutant.

Vyacheslav Malafeyev (Zenit St Petersburg) Born: 04.03.79. Caps: 24. Solid if unspectacular, experienced keeper who did not concede a goal in Russia's final four qualifiers for Euro 2012 when he deputised for the injured Akinfeyev. Made the Euro 2008 squad after helping his club Zenit to the UEFA Cup trophy that year. Played at Euro 2004 in Portugal.

Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow) Born: 27.01.87. Caps: 2. Young, promising keeper, who grew up idolising the great Lev Yashin. Was preferred over more experienced Vladimir Gabulov for Euro 2012, going there as a third-choice keeper. Made his Russia debut against Poland in 2007.

DEFENDERS

Alexei Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow) Born: 20.06.82 Caps: 48 Goals: 0. Tall, powerful left back, who relies more on his strength than skill. Made the Euro 2008 squad but did not see any action there. Made Russia debut against Cyprus in 2003.

Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow) Born: 14.07.79 Caps: 75 Goals: 5. Hard-nosed central defender with a powerful shot, a defensive stalwart both for national team and club. Played in Russia's last four matches at Euro 2008 after missing their opening game.

Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg) Born: 28.09.82. Caps: 65 Goals: 1. Speedy right back with a good shot, can also play in midfield. Good one-on-one marker, appeared in all five of his team's games at Euro 2008. Made Russia debut in 2004.

Roman Sharonov (Rubin Kazan) Born: 08.09.76. Caps: 9 Goals: 0. Highly-experienced central defender, who played in Euro 2004. Has not played for Russia since 2004 but was called up after first-choice Vasily Berezutsky was ruled out with a hip injury.

Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow) Born: 22.05.87. Caps: 0. Speedy left back who can also play in the centre of defence. Surprise choice for Euro 2012 but unlikely to see any action there unless regular defenders get injured or suspended.

Kirill Nababkin (CSKA Moscow) Born: 08.09.86. Caps: 1. Right back was not in Russia's preliminary Euro 2012 squad but was included in the final 23-man roster after the team lost two defenders to injury and illness. Coach Dick Advocaat said Nababkin was needed as a back-up for Alexander Anyukov.

MIDFIELDERS

Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala) Born: 20.08.83 Caps: 52 Goals: 0. Tireless left winger who joined Chelsea in 2009 after a highly successful Euro 2008, where he played in all five of Russia's games and made the tournament's All-Star team. Returned to Russia last August, joining big-spenders Anzhi Makhachlaka after struggling to break into Chelsea's first team.

Konstantin Zyryanov (Zenit St Petersburg) Born: 04.10.77 Caps: 50 Goals: 7. A late developer, steady midfielder, became a regular soon after joining Zenit St Petersburg from struggling Torpedo Moscow in 2007. Also played in all five of Russia's games at Euro 2008 and made the tournament's All-Star team. Voted Russia's Player of the Year in 2007.

Roman Shirokov (Zenit St Petersburg) Born: 06.07.81 Caps: 22 Goals: 6. Another late developer, became an all-round player soon after joining champions Zenit St Petersburg from unfashionable FK Khimki. Zenit's top scorer in the Champions League with five goals this season - not a bad return for a holding midfielder.

Igor Denisov (Zenit St Petersburg) Born: 17.05.84 Caps: 26 Goals: 0. Shocked many experts by turning down a chance to play at Euro 2008, refusing coach Guus Hiddink's invitation. Made peace with the Dutchman after the tournament. Hard, defensive midfielder, had a reputation for trouble earlier in career, but has mellowed in the last few years.

Igor Semshov (Dynamo Moscow) Born: 06.04.78 Caps: 57 Goals: 3. Diminutive but skilful midfielder, can play most positions. Euro 2012 will be his fourth major tournament. Became one of Russia's key players at Euro 2008, appearing in all five games.

Alan Dzagoyev (CSKA Moscow) Born: 17.06.90 Caps: 20 Goals: 4. One of the most gifted players of his generation, the flashy playmaker made his debut aged 18 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier against Germany in October 2008. Became one of Russia's key players during the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, catching the attention of several top European clubs, including Real Madrid.

Marat Izmailov (Sporting Lisbon). Born: 21.09.82. Caps: 34 Goals: 2. Once regarded as one of the most talented Russian players and a veteran of 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, has struggled to overcome numerous injuries in recent years. Had not played for the national team since 2006 before making a surprise start in a friendly against Uruguay in May.

Denis Glushakov (Lokomotiv Moscow) Born: 27.01.87 Caps: 9 Goals: 1. Dependable central midfielder, became one of Russia's regulars after making his international debut in a friendly against Qatar in March last year. Courted by Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg last year, but decided to remain at Lokomotiv Moscow.

Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow) Born: 22.01.87. Caps: 5 Goals: 0. Left winger, who can also play in defence, was preferred over more experienced team mate Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. His twin brother Kirill Kombarov also plays for Spartak Moscow. Made his Russia debut in a friendly against Denmark in February.

FORWARDS

Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg) Born: 29.05.81 Caps: 71 Goals: 17. Small, talented playmaker, widely considered the country's best player. A real revelation at Euro 2008. Was voted into the tournament's All-Star team after helping Russia reach the semi-finals. Arsenal paid a club record fee of 15 million pounds ($21.35 million) to sign him in 2009, but after excelling for the first couple of years, his English career went downhill. Now back with Zenit on loan.

Roman Pavlyuchenko (Lokomotiv Moscow) Born: 15.12.81 Caps: 47 Goals: 20. Tall striker, nicknamed "sleeping giant" by former Russia coach Hiddink. Excelled at Euro 2008, where he made the tournament's All-Star team after scoring three goals in five matches. Struggled to adapt to the English game after joining Tottenham Hotspur from Spartak Moscow for 17 million euros ($24.92 million) following Euro 2008. Returned to Russia in February, signing with Spartak's city rivals Lokomotiv.

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham) Born: 08.11.83. Caps: 32 Goals: 8. Lanky striker with a powerful shot. Had a stunning debut for Fulham after joining from Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart in January. Scored in first three league games for new team, including a hat-trick against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Made his breakthrough in 2008 by leading Zenit St Petersburg to the UEFA Cup final, notching 10 goals to be joint top scorer, but was suspended for the final.

Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg) Born: 27.11.82 Caps: 61 Goals: 19. One of the most prolific domestic strikers, surprisingly left out of Russia's Euro 2008 squad by Hiddink despite top-scoring in qualifiers. Joined Spain's Sevilla from Zenit in 2006, but struggled to make the team before returning to Russia in 2008, signing with Dynamo Moscow. Returned to Zenit in 2010, again becoming their top striker.

Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow) Born: 19.03.91. Caps: 5 Goals: 0. Newcomer. Fleet-footed forward, often guilty of wasting chances. Made debut in friendly against Greece in November last year.

Reuters

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  1. Why havent they brought bilyantidenov

    From Louise, on Tue 12 Jun 19:49
  2. Last Euro tournament, Russia had one of the youngest­ squads (by age) and a wise coach. They sprung a­ surprise then and may do it again this year. All they­ need is discipline and focus. I wish them success.

    From Nnamezie, on Wed 6 Jun 2:29
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