Euro 2008 Russia Team Guide
Welcome to the euro2008betting.com Russia Team Guide for Euro 2008. Here we preview the chances of Russia for Euro 2008 plus take a look back at their Euro 2008 qualifiying performance and previous appearances at the European Championships.
Coach: Guus Hiddink
Guus Hiddink is a highly respected Dutch manager who is currently in charge of the Russian national team. Throughout his entire managerial career, he is best recognised for winning the treble with PSV Eindhoven, leading South Korea to a 4th place finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, managing the Netherlands into the same position in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, leading Australia to the second round of the 2006 FIFA World Cup—their first appearance in the tournament for 32 years. Hiddink became the manager of the Russian national team after the 2006 World Cup, and led them to Euro 2008 at the expense of England.
Euro 2008 Qualifying:
Guus Hiddink's maiden campaign as coach could hardly have had a more dramatic ending as Russia snatched second place in Group E at the death. After opening with home draws against Croatia and Israel, Russia won five of their next six games. Aleksandr Kerzhakov struck a hat-trick in a 4-0 home victory against Andorra and the only game of that sequence they did not win was a goalless draw in Croatia. Russia played back-to-back games against England in autumn 2007, losing 3-0 at Wembley but then staging a dramatic recovery in Moscow, where substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko scored twice in five second-half minutes – the first a penalty – to cancel out Wayne Rooney's opener. That result left Russia second in the section, needing six points from their final games in Israel and Andorra to be sure of qualifying. Hiddink said it was "simply impossible" to lose in Israel, against opponents already out of the running, but lose they did, their 2-1 defeat putting England back in pole position to qualify. However, the drama continued on the final day, with England unexpectedly losing 3-2 at home against group winners Croatia, allowing a ten-man Russia to seal their progress with a 1-0 win in Andorra, earned by Dmitri Sychev's goal.
Past Euro Performance:
Russia's best performance since competing as an independent state came at UEFA EURO 2004 although their best qualification round came in the run up to EURO ‘96. From ten matches, Russia collected 26 points to claim first position from a group featuring Finland, Greece, Scotland, the Faroe Islands and San Marino. Their involvement in the UEFA EURO '96 was less memorable with one point from three games, a 3-3 draw against the Czech Republic after earlier losing their opening two games to Italy (2-1) and Germany (3-0).