Russia coach Dick Advocaat sprang
a surprise on Friday, naming uncapped CSKA Moscow defender
Kirill Nababkin in their final 23-man squad for Euro 2012.
The 25-year-old right-back, who was not in the preliminary
26-man list announced by Advocaat two weeks ago, was added to
the final roster after the Russians lost two defenders, Vasily
Berezutsky and Roman Shishkin, to injury and illness.
"We had to call up Nababkin because we were short in
defence," Advocaat told reporters.
"In case something happens to our starting right-back
Alexander Anyukov he [Nababkin] could give us some cover."
Russia, who face Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland, 2004 European
champions Greece and Czech Republic in Group A, now have six
defenders, although wingers Yuri Zhirkov and Dmitry Kombarov can
also help out at the back if needed.
Advocaat also axed two debutants, midfielder Magomed Ozdoyev
and striker Artem Dzyuba, from the preliminary squad to make
room for Nababkin, who has had some Champions League experience
playing for his club.
"We had to have a balanced squad with enough defenders,
midfielders and attackers," said the Dutchman, who will step
down as Russia boss following the tournament to take charge of
Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.
"As for Nababkin, I've seen him play for CSKA. He has enough
Earlier this month, Advocaat dropped experienced midfielders
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Vladimir Bystrov from the preliminary
squad, preferring to call up newcomer Alexander Kokorin instead.
Captain Andrei Arshavin and striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who
excelled at Euro 2008 where the Russians reached the semi-finals
but have struggled to regain their top form this season, were
also included in the final roster.
Sporting midfielder Marat Izmailov, who had not played for
the national team since 2006, also made the final cut.
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeyev (CSKA Moscow), Vyacheslav
Malafeyev (Zenit St Petersburg), Anton Shunin (Dynamo Moscow).
Defenders: Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg), Alexei
Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow),
Roman Sharonov (Rubin Kazan), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow),
Kirill Nababkin (CSKA Moscow).
Midfielders: Igor Denisov (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman
Shirokov (Zenit St Petersburg), Konstantin Zyryanov (Zenit St
Petersburg), Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala), Alan Dzagoyev
(CSKA Moscow), Igor Semshov (Dynamo Moscow), Denis Glushakov
(Lokomotiv Moscow), Marat Izmailov (Sporting), Dmitry Kombarov
Forwards: Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal), Alexander Kerzhakov
(Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Lokomotiv Moscow),
Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Fulham).
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