When they launched their bid to host the world’s greatest football tournament, Russia had just reached the semi-finals of the 2008 European Championships and was feeling confident in their performance. 10 years later, they come into the competition as the lowest ranked side. Various coaching changes and team movements have meant that the side has failed to advance past any group stage of any international tournament since 2008. As hosts, they aim to remedy this trend and prove to the world that they can be a formidable opponent.
After bringing in expensive foreign coaches, including the likes of Guus Hiddink and Fabio Capello, Russia reverted back to home-based hero. Cherchesov was selected for the national squad in 1994 and 2002 as a goalkeeper. In 2016 he was appointed coach, and led the team in their most recent campaign at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Russia entered their first Cup in 1958 as the Soviet Union. They made it through to the quarterfinals, picking up 6th place. 4 years later, they achieved the exact same result in Chile. In 1966, they were able to progress to the semi-final, achieving 4th place. This has been their best achievement so far. After being disqualified in 1974 and failing to qualify in 1978, they were back in action in 1982 in Spain where they achieved 7th place. In recent times, they have not had as much success playing as Russia. Since 1994, they have not achieved any result higher than 18th, and failed to qualify for the 2006 and 2010 Cups. In 2014 in Brazil, they placed 24th.
Produced by Adidas, Russia’s WC kit draws significant inspiration from the 1988 USSR jersey. Their home kit is red and white which pays homage to their past while their away kit will be white and blue.