Luciano Spalletti, the Italian
coach of Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg, has expressed an
interest in working with the Russian national team, saying he
was honoured to be mentioned among the possible candidates.
"For me it would be a real pleasure to coach Russia, it
would be a great honour for me, [although] I know it would be a
really tough job," Spalletti, who has led Zenit to two
consecutive domestic league titles, was quoted as saying by the
The Russia job became vacant after Dutchman Dick Advocaat's
departure following the team's failure to advance past the group
stage at Euro 2012 last month.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday the
Russian FA would name a new national coach by July 20.
Several media outlets had reported that former England
manager Fabio Capello was expected in Moscow on Thursday for
talks about coaching Russia.
Asked to comment on his fellow Italian, Spalletti said: "If
you take into account his experience, personality and results [Capello] is one of the best in the world. No doubt about that."
Many Russian football experts though have said Spalletti would
be an ideal person to coach Russia because, unlike other
high-profile foreigners in the frame, he already has full
knowledge of the players and the state of the Russian game.
However, Alexei Miller, the head of Russian energy giant
Gazprom - Zenit's main sponsors - said recently that he would
oppose lending Spalletti to the national team or having the
Italian combine the two jobs.
"I would think about the difficulties of coaching the
national team when I had to face them," Spalletti said. "But if
my boss Miller has made such a decision, I just do what he
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