Russia has called up a replacement for injured veteran midfielder of Dynamo Moscow, Igor Denisov. Ahead of the continental tournament in France, Artur Yusupov would now replace the Dynamo Moscow star player.
During the final warm-up game ahead Euro 2016, the midfielder’s thigh muscle was torn, necessitating the call up of Yusupov who has just two national team appearances.
Yusupov who plays at Zenit St. Petersburg said the invitation to the team’s training camp came out of the blues as he was vacationing in Monaco when he was summoned. He had to hurry to Russia’s training camp in Paris and even borrowed a team mate’s boots of training on Monday.
Aside Denisov, Russia is missing injured midfielders Alan Dzagoev and Denis Cheryshev, and defenders Yuri Zhirkov and Oleg Kuzmin. The missing players are a big blow to the hopes of the team ahead of the tournament. The Russian Football Union (RFU) released a statement that Denisov’s injury was sustained when they played the 1-1 draw with Serbia in Monaco on Sunday night.
Yusupov, 26, said: “I am still shocked, but I need to adapt and tune in for the work. Being a part of the national team is a great honor for me, although the news came like the snow in summer.”
Russia would not be breaking the 2016 Euro Cup regulations as the team can replace an injured player until the team plays its first match of the tournament and upon agreement from an UEFA medical committee’s specialist.
Russia hope to be able to shake off the pre tournament worries before it starts, especially as they are also dealing with the pressure back home due to the results of the games. They defeated only Lithuania by three goals to nothing, lost to France and the Czech Republic by 2-4 and 1-2 respectively. They will be facing England, Wales and Slovakia in Group B in France.