Russian defender Yuri Zhirkov made played his first game for the senior team against Italy in Cagliari on February 9, 2005. He was named in the starting XI as Russia suffered a 2-0 international friendly defeat at the hands of their hosts.
Yuri Zhirkov played in his second major tournament for the Russian senior team at the Euro 2012 tournament in Ukraine and Poland as they failed to hit the heights of the Euro 2008 tournament. He played all the three Russia games as his country crashed out of the tournament at the group stage.
Zhirkov scored his first goal for the Russian senior team on the occasion of his 61st cap. His goal came against Morocco in a pre-tournament international friendly for the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil. He scored the opener on the way to a 2-0 win. At the tournament, Yuri Zhirkov featured once and that was during the opening match for his team, which ended in a 1-1 draw with South Korea. He played 71 minutes before making way for Alexander Kerzhakov. Zhirkov and Russia crashed out of the tournament in Brazil at the group stage.
Yuri Zhirkov missed out on the Russian squad for the Euro 2016 tournament in France, but he was back for both the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup tournaments on home soil. He also played for Russia at the Euro 2020 tournament last year.