Russian National Football (Soccer) Team

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1911 - 1914
1924 - 1991
Since 16.08.1992
–  Russia (Russian Empire)
–  RSFSR (Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic)
–  USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
–  CIS (Commonwealth of the Independent States)
–  Russia (Russian Federation)

Early history
Football was being played in the time of the last Tsars of Russia, with some alleging that the first organised games were played as far back as 1887, when English mill owners Clement and Harry Charnock formed a team at the Morozov mill near Moscow.

Local leagues
Certainly, there are records of local leagues in both Moscow and Saint Petersburg at the turn of the century, and the Football Union of Russia sent a side to contest the Olympics in 1912 - they lost their first official competitive game 2-1 against Finland.

Gavriyil Kachilin

Gavriyil Kachalin
Head Coach
1955 - 1962
1969 - 1970

Soviet times
Even after the Russian revolution toppled the Romanov dynasty, football continued to thrive as the Soviet Union encouraged the growth of the game - indeed pitches were laid in Red Square in 1942 and 1943 for games to be played during the May Day celebrations.

First title
However, the Soviet Union did not join FIFA until 1946, and it was not until 1952 that the new nation played its first official game, beating Bulgaria 2-1 at the 1952 Olympic tournament - which they would win at the second attempt in Melbourne in 1956 (Head coach – G. Kachalin).

Valery Lobanovsky

Valery Lobanovsky
Head Coach
1975 - 1976
1982 - 1983
1986 - 1990

European triumph
At this point, the Soviet Union were very much in the ascendant. Quarter-finalists at the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cups, they scooped their first major piece of silverware by winning the inaugural UEFA European Championship in 1960 (Head coach – G. Kachalin), beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in the final. However, they were thwarted in the final of the competition in 1964 (Head coach – K. Beskov).

Magnificent Yashin
Goalkeeper Lev Yashin was a constant in the team that reigned in the 1950s and 1960s, and he was certainly one of the brightest stars of the World Cup in England in 1966, his heroics helping the Soviet Union to the semi-finals (Head coach – N. Morozov).

Anatoliy Byshovets

Anatoliy Byshovets
Head Coach
1990 - 1992, 1998

Blokhin era
However, he had hung up his gloves by the time a new team emerged in the 1970s, and while the Soviet Union would continue to qualify regularly for the World Cup with Oleg Blokhin on side, it was the European Championships which saw them thrive. They were losing finalists in 1972 (Head coach – A. Ponomarev) and 1988 (Head coach – V. Lobanovsky), and won Olympic gold for a second time in 1988 (Head coach – A. Byshovets).

Independence days
The break up of the Soviet Union initially saw Russia competing as part of the Confederation of Independent States in the 1992 European Championship, but they later returned to international competition as Russia.

Unfortunate result
The new nation created a stir at the 1994 World Cup as Oleg Salenko scored five goals against Cameroon, but the 2002 World Cup was a campaign which most Russians would prefer to forget following a 1-0 defeat by Japan which prompted outrage back at home.

Football Federation of USSR

Football Union of Russia

Most caps: Viktor Onopko (113)
Top scorer: Oleg Blokhin (42)
First International: Finland 2 - 1 Russia (Stockholm, Sweden; 30 June 1912)
Largest win: USSR 11 - 1 India (Moscow, USSR; 16 September, 1955)
                     Finland 0 - 10 USSR (Helsinki, Finland; 15 August, 1957)
Worst defeat: Germany 16 - 0 Russia (Stockholm, Sweden; 1 July 1912)

World Cup: Appearances 9 (First in 1958), Best result - Fourth place, 1966
European Championship: Appearances 9 (First in 1960), Best result - Winners, 1960

World Cup record:
1930 to 1954 - Did not enter
1958 - Quarterfinals
1962 - Quarterfinals
1966 - Fourth place
1970 - Quarterfinals
1974 - Disqualified for refusal to travel to Chile
1978 - Did not qualify
1982 - Round 2
1986 - Round 2
1990 - Round 1
1994 - Round 1
1998 - Did not qualify
2002 - Round 1

European Championship record:
1960 - Champions
1964 - Second place
1968 - Fourth place
1972 - Second place
1976 - Quarterfinals
1980 - Did not qualify
1984 - Did not qualify
1988 - Second place
1992 - Round 1 (as CIS)
1996 - Round 1
2000 - Did not qualify
2004 - Round 1

Famous players: Igor Belanov, Oleg Blokhin, Vsevolod Bobrov, Leonid Buryak, Igor Chislenko, Rinat Dasaev, Yuri Gavrilov, Valentin Ivanov, Alexei Mikhailichenko, Igor Netto, Viktor Ponedelnik, Oleg Protasov, Evgeni Rudakov, Eduard Streltsov, Lev Yashin, Alexander Zavarov, Dmitri Alenichev, Vladimir Beschastnykh, Andrei Kanchelskis, Valeri Karpin, Alexander Mostovoi, Viktor Onopko, Oleg Salenko, Dmitri Sychev, Egor Titov

National Team Colours:

Russia 2005 Home Soccer Jersey

2005 Home Soccer Jersey

2005 Away Soccer Jersey

Shirts: White
Shorts: Blue
Socks: Red

Shirts: Red
Shorts: White
Socks: Blue

The Country:

Map of Russia

Map of Russia

Location: Northern Eurasia, bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean.

Capital: Moscow.

Area: 17,075,200 sq km.

Population: 148,000,000.

Government type: Federation.

Climate: Ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast.

Ethnic groups: Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1.2%, Bashkir 0.9%, Byelorussian 0.8%, Moldavian 0.7%, other 8.1%.

Religions: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, several minority religions.

Languages: Russian, several minority languages.

History: The defeat of the Russian Empire in the First World War led to the seizure of power by the communists and the formation of the Soviet Union. The brutal rule of Josef Stalin from 1924-53 strengthened Russian dominance of the Soviet Union. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until Mikhail Gorbachev introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism. His scheme, however, unintentionally released forces that, by December 1991, broke up the Soviet Union into 15 independent republics. Since then, Russia has struggled in its attempts to construct a democracy and market economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls of the communist period.

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