FIFA World Cup

The National Football Team of Russia History

The journey of Russia in football competitions can be traced back to the nineteen century when Scottish and English workers in St Petersburg had to each form their football teams. While competitions were held and winners emerge, it became glaring that majority of the players came from Russia. According to history, the first international football match took place between England and Russia at the capital of Tsarist Russia, St Petersburg (Leningrad) in September 1911.

Based on another information, it was gathered that association football team that represented the Russian Empire was called the Russian Empire national football team which existed between 1910 and 1914. And that, the first unofficial international competition that Russia engaged in was against the national team of Bohemia in October 1910. The match recorded a 5-4 win in St. Petersburg and another match which took place in Moscow also recorded a 1-0 win. But then, this ended becoming the last international victories that would be recorded in the history of Russian pre revolutionary soccer.

Russia Become FIFA Member:

Having formed and found the All-Russian Football Union in January 1912, it became admitted as a member of FIFA in the same year, and during the summer Olympics game that took place in Stockholm, the same year 1912, the All-Russian Football Union had her first official international competition against Finland national team.


The first All-Russian Football Union went through some series of challenges especially during the emergence of the First World War in 1914 which had to put the team to a halt, and every football competition they were supposed to participate in had to be canceled. During the war also, a lot of the players in the team were killed while others had to flee to other countries. The Soviet Union national football team succeeded the Russian Empire team in 1923 and was accepted back by FIFA.

Russian Football History:

There was a major revolution in the football history of Russia in the 1950s and 1960s as a result of the emergence of some gifted players like Lev Yashin, Igor Netto, Valentin Ivanov and Victor Ponedelnik which brought them into the limelight in 1960; a period is known to be the Golden Age of Soviet Football.


However, the moment there was a breakup of the Soviet Union, on the 16th of August 1992, Russia launched its own national team and then, engaged a team of the former Soviet Union players, Mexico, in its first international match leading them to a 2–0 win.

Since Russia launched its own national team in 1992, it had qualified for four FIFA World Cup tournaments of which its appearance at FIFA World Cup before then was as the Soviet Union. While it took the 18th position in 1992, it occupied the 22nd position in 2002, 24th position in 2014 and were the host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it got an automatic qualification. At the UEFA European Championship level, while it took the 14th position in 1996, it did not qualify in 2000 but took the 10th position in 2004, and ended up in the third place at the Semi finals in 2008, 9th position in 2012 and the 23rd position in 2016.

The Russia national team represents Russia in association football under the leadership of the Russian Football Union which is the governing body for football in country. Taking into cognizance the leadership positions of the Football Union of Russia, while there is no one occupying the office of the President, SIMONYAN Nikita and PRYADKIN Sergey remain the Vice Presidents of Football Union of Russia. The Technical Director is LESKAKOV Andrey and the Media/Communications Manager is BARANOVA Irina. Referee Coordinator is KALOSHIN Leonid while ANDREEV Semen occupies the office of the Futsal Coordinator.


All through the FIFA Confederations Cup that took place between 1992 and 2013, Russia never qualified, but in 2017, it ended up in the 5th position. According to April 2018 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, Russia ranks 65.
Between 1992 that the national football team emerged and the present date, thirteen people have managed the Russian national football team, and they are Pavel Sadyrin who managed it from 1992–1994, Oleg Romantsev from 1994–1996, and then from 1998–2002; Boris Ignatyev from 1996–1998; Anatoliy Byshovets in 1998; Valery Gazzaev from 2002–2003; Georgi Yartsev from 2003–2005 and Yuri Semin 2005 all of whom are from Russia. Aleksandr Borodyuk stood as a caretaker in 2006 while Guus Hiddink managed the team from July 2006 – June 2010; and Dick Advocaat from July 2010 – July 2012 both from the Netherlands. Italy Fabio Capello, an Italian, managed the team from July 2012 – July 2015 while Leonid Slutsky managed it from August 2015 – June 2016 and Stanislav Cherchesov began to manage since August 2016 up till the present date, both of whom also are from Russia.
Looking at the statistics of the games supervised by each of these coaches between 2010 and the present moment, within the tenure of Dick Advocaat, Russia had 24 matches, won 12, had 8 draw games, and lost 4 while during Fabio Capello, they had 33 matches from which they won 17, had 11 draws and lost 5. Also, during Leonid Slutsky’s tenure, they had 13 matches and out of which they won 6, draw in 2 and lost 5 but during the tenure of the present coach, Stanislav Cherchesov, since August 2016, the Russian had 18 matches from which they won 5, had drawn in 5 and lost 8 matches.

Famous Russian Footballers:

Russia’s key major players include Igor Akinfeev, a 30-year old goalkeeper for CSKA and Russia. He also happens to be the captain of the Russian national football team and one of the most experienced players of Russia with 104 caps till date. Other notable players in the Russian team with a high appearance include Sergei Ignashevich with 120 caps; Yuri Zhirkov with 82 caps since 2001 till date; Vasili Berezutskiy with 101 caps.


Based on the friendly and confederations cup matches that Russia had with other national teams between 2017 and March 2018, it recorded 5 loses, four draw games, and three wins.

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