Russia’s football coach Dick Advocaat has revealed the list of 26 players to prepare for Euro 2012, with Sporting’s Marat Izmailov the only unexpected name in the selection.
There were minor changes in the squad in comparison with Russia’s friendly against Denmark this February.
CSKA goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev, returned to the team after recovering from his knee injury, which saw Russia’s No.1 out of action for half a year.
Vladimir Granat of Dynamo Moscow and Rubin’s captain Roman Sharonov became the new faces in the defensive line.
The invitation of Sporting Lisbon’s attacking midfielder, Marat Izmailov – who has 31 caps for his country, but never played under Advocaat – may be considered the biggest event.
Unlike Izmailov, Lokomotiv’s Magomed Ozdoyev is being called up for Russia for the first time.
As for the forwards, Artem Dzyuba of Spartak Moscow and Dynamo’s Aleksandr Kokorin received a chance to challenge Andrey Arshavin for a place in the starting lineup.
Russia’s Euro 2012 preliminary squad:
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vyacheslav Malafeev (Zenit), Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow);
Defenders: Aleksander Anyukov (Zenit), Alexey Berezutsky, Vasily Berezutsky, Sergey Ignashevich (all – CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow), Yury Zhirkov (Anzhi), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Roman Sharonov (Rubin), Roman Shishkin (Lokomotiv Moscow);
Midfielders: Igor Denisov, Konstantin Zyrianov, Roman Shirokov (all – Zenit), Denis Glushakov, Magomed Ozdoyev (both – Lokomotiv Moscow), Igor Semshov (Dynamo Moscow);
Forwards: Andrey Arshavin, Aleksander Kerzhakov (both – Zenit), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Artem Dzyuba (Spartak Moscow), Marat Izmailov (Sporting, Portugal), Aleksander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Lokomotiv Moscow), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham, England).
Russia’s training camp will kick off in Moscow on May 20, with the men playing their opening Euro 2012 game on June 8.
The squads of the Czech Republic, co-hosts Poland and Greece will be the team’s rivals in the group stages.