Russia will be keen to have a lengthy run in the competition and end a long spell without any major silverware in the European Championship. Supporters will fancy their chances of having a successful tournament with coach Guus Hiddink at the helm and his proven track record of doing well in the big international competitions. But Hiddink will want to ignore the record books as Russia have failed to repeat what the former Soviet Union have achieved in the European Championship.
The last time they won the tournament was back in 1960 when they beat Yugoslavia 2-1 in the final. It was to prove a successful period as just four years later the Soviet Union reached the final once again, but lost on that occasion to the hosts Spain 2-1 in front of a 120,000 crowd. The Soviet Union can also boast getting to the final in 1972 and 1988, but lost on both occasions to West Germany and then Holland when Marco van Basten scored a memorable volley.
After the break up of the Soviet Union, Russia reformed and qualified for the tournament in 1996 but failed to make it through the group stages and it has been a similar story ever since. Russia failed to qualify for the competition in 2000 and it did not get much better for them in 2004 when they finished rock bottom of Group A in the finals in Portugal. But following a successful qualifying campaign, Hiddink will have high hopes for his side in Switzerland and Austria this summer.
Despite being drawn in a tough group with Croatia and England, Russia were still able to finish in the top two and overtake England to reach the finals. They may have crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Wembley, but they quickly recovered and came away with a memorable 2-1 victory over England in Moscow to put them in pole position in Group E. Hiddink will be looking to his strike force of Dmitri Sychev and Alexander Kerzhakov to fire the goals which will help them qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.
Russia Euro 2008 Squad
Head coach: Guus Hiddink
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