TEAM PAGE

Russia

Russia, as the Soviet Union, won the European Championships in 1960 and they have thrice been runners-up in this tournament.
Four years ago, they reached the semifinals of the last edition, which was jointly hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
They won Group B of the qualifying tournament for the 2012 edition ahead of Republic of Ireland, Armenia, Slovakia, Macedonia and Andorra.
They totalled 23 points from 10 matches, losing only to Slovakia 1-0 at home.
Their top scorers in the qualifiers were Roman Pavlyuchenko and Alan Dzagoev, who each netted four goals.
However, Russia are sweating over the fitness of CSKA Moscow playmaker Dzagoev, who has become a key member of this team, after he broke a toe in March during a league game and he is not expected to resume training until after about six weeks on the sidelines.
Forward Andrey Arshavin has rediscovered the form that saw him dazzle at the 2008 Euros as he was an ever-present on the road to qualification.
Highly-rated Dutch coach Dick Advocaat, 64, qualified the Russians to the 2012 Euros, but has since announced he will step down after the competition.
Advocaat has maintained he does not wish to discuss why he refused to extend his initial two-year contract, but has made it clear that money was not a factor.
“We took part in a difficult 10-match competition and deservedly won it,” remarked the Dutchman.
“I hope any criticism of the national team will die down now.”
At the Euros, the team are expected to at least go past a first round group that includes co-hosts Poland, Czech Republic and Greece.
A good performance in this competition will most certainly put to rest the huge disappointment of not qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

GALLERY