Former Chelsea wing-back Yuri Zhirkov, who now plays for Zenit St Petersburg will miss the Euro 2016 tournament in France.
He will be joined on the sidelines by Russia’s all-time leading scorer Alexander Kerzhakov. Zhirkov, 32, will miss the tournament due to an inflamed Achilles tendon injury, according to reports.
The talented player who can take on the left midfield, left back and even central midfield positions made his debut for the Russia national side in February 9, 2005. He has 68 caps to his name and two goals.
He started his career in the early 2000s first with Spartak Tambov before moving to CSKA Moscow. He played there till he joined English Premier League giant Chelsea FC in 2009 for about 15 million Pounds.
He played just two seasons till his departure to Anzhi then to Dinamo Moscow. So far, he has played 13 games for Zenit this season.
On the other hand, Russia have named Roman Neustadter, who was born in Ukraine and does not yet have Russian citizenship, in their Euro 2016 squad. The Russian Football Union (RFU) announced the squad over the weekend, with head coach Leonid Slutskiy including the 28-year-old Schalke defender, who has been living in Germany since he was a child and has played for Germany’s youth teams.
Russia will be without midfielder Alan Dzagoev after he suffered a broken metatarsal while playing for CSKA Moscow. Krasnodar’s Dmitri Torbinski was called up to replace him.
CSKA Moscow’s 19-year-old attacking midfielder Alexander Golovin, who only recently broke into their starting line-up, has also been included in the 23-man Russia squad. Slutskiy, who is coach of CSKA as well as the national team, has, omitted two of Russia’s most experienced players in Zhirkov and Kerzhakov, whch has seen the bookmakers rate their chances less highly, with the latest StanJames betting odds for Russia to be outright winners way out at 40/1.
Kerzhakov, 33, who has scored 30 goals for Russia, missed the first half of the season after falling out with Zenit head coach Andre Villas-Boas and went on loan to FC Zurich, who are bottom of the Swiss Super League. Russia are in Group B with England, Slovakia and Wales.