| 1911 - 1914
1924 - 1991
| Russia (Russian Empire)
RSFSR (Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic)
USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
CIS (Commonwealth of the Independent States)
Russia (Russian Federation)
Football was being played in the time of the last Tsars of Russia, with
some alleging that the first organised games were played as far back as
1887, when English mill owners Clement and Harry Charnock formed a team
at the Morozov mill near Moscow.
Certainly, there are records of local leagues in both Moscow and Saint
Petersburg at the turn of the century, and the Football Union of Russia
sent a side to contest the Olympics in 1912 - they lost their first official
competitive game 2-1 against Finland.
1955 - 1962
1969 - 1970
Even after the Russian revolution toppled the Romanov dynasty, football
continued to thrive as the Soviet Union encouraged the growth of the game
- indeed pitches were laid in Red Square in 1942 and 1943 for games to
be played during the May Day celebrations.
However, the Soviet Union did not join FIFA until 1946, and it was not
until 1952 that the new nation played its first official game, beating
Bulgaria 2-1 at the 1952 Olympic tournament - which they would win at
the second attempt in Melbourne in 1956 (Head coach G. Kachalin).
1975 - 1976
1982 - 1983
1986 - 1990
At this point, the Soviet Union were very much in the ascendant. Quarter-finalists
at the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cups, they scooped their first major piece
of silverware by winning the inaugural UEFA European Championship in 1960
(Head coach G. Kachalin), beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in the final.
However, they were thwarted in the final of the competition in 1964 (Head
coach K. Beskov).
Goalkeeper Lev Yashin was a constant in the team that reigned in the 1950s
and 1960s, and he was certainly one of the brightest stars of the World
Cup in England in 1966, his heroics helping the Soviet Union to the semi-finals
(Head coach N. Morozov).
1990 - 1992, 1998
However, he had hung up his gloves by the time a new team emerged in the
1970s, and while the Soviet Union would continue to qualify regularly
for the World Cup with Oleg Blokhin on side, it was the European Championships
which saw them thrive. They were losing finalists in 1972 (Head coach
A. Ponomarev) and 1988 (Head coach V. Lobanovsky), and won
Olympic gold for a second time in 1988 (Head coach A. Byshovets).
The break up of the Soviet Union initially saw Russia competing as part
of the Confederation of Independent States in the 1992 European Championship,
but they later returned to international competition as Russia.
The new nation created a stir at the 1994 World Cup as Oleg Salenko scored
five goals against Cameroon, but the 2002 World Cup was a campaign which
most Russians would prefer to forget following a 1-0 defeat by Japan which
prompted outrage back at home.
Football Federation of USSR
Football Union of Russia
Most caps: Viktor Onopko (113)
Top scorer: Oleg Blokhin (42)
First International: Finland 2 - 1 Russia (Stockholm, Sweden; 30 June
Largest win: USSR 11 - 1 India (Moscow, USSR; 16 September, 1955)
0 - 10 USSR (Helsinki, Finland; 15 August, 1957)
Worst defeat: Germany 16 - 0 Russia (Stockholm, Sweden; 1 July 1912)
World Cup: Appearances 9 (First in 1958), Best result - Fourth place,
European Championship: Appearances 9 (First in 1960), Best result - Winners,
World Cup record
1930 to 1954 - Did not enter
1958 - Quarterfinals
1962 - Quarterfinals
1966 - Fourth place
1970 - Quarterfinals
1974 - Disqualified for refusal to travel to Chile
1978 - Did not qualify
1982 - Round 2
1986 - Round 2
1990 - Round 1
1994 - Round 1
1998 - Did not qualify
2002 - Round 1
European Championship record
1960 - Champions
1964 - Second place
1968 - Fourth place
1972 - Second place
1976 - Quarterfinals
1980 - Did not qualify
1984 - Did not qualify
1988 - Second place
1992 - Round 1 (as CIS)
1996 - Round 1
2000 - Did not qualify
2004 - Round 1
Igor Belanov, Oleg Blokhin,
Leonid Buryak, Igor
Dasaev, Yuri Gavrilov, Valentin
Ivanov, Alexei Mikhailichenko, Igor
Ponedelnik, Oleg Protasov, Evgeni Rudakov, Eduard
Streltsov, Lev Yashin,
Alexander Zavarov, Dmitri Alenichev, Vladimir Beschastnykh, Andrei Kanchelskis,
Valeri Karpin, Alexander Mostovoi, Viktor
Onopko, Oleg Salenko, Dmitri Sychev, Egor Titov.
| National Team Colours
Location: Northern Eurasia, bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe
and the North Pacific Ocean.
Area: 17,075,200 sq km.
Government type: Federation.
Climate: Ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in
much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the
polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in
Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast.
Ethnic groups: Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1.2%,
Bashkir 0.9%, Byelorussian 0.8%, Moldavian 0.7%, other 8.1%.
Religions: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, several minority religions.
Languages: Russian, several minority languages.
History: The defeat of the Russian Empire in the First World War led to
the seizure of power by the communists and the formation of the Soviet
Union. The brutal rule of Josef Stalin from 1924-53 strengthened Russian
dominance of the Soviet Union. The Soviet economy and society stagnated
in the following decades until Mikhail Gorbachev introduced glasnost (openness)
and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism.
His scheme, however, unintentionally released forces that, by December
1991, broke up the Soviet Union into 15 independent republics. Since then,
Russia has struggled in its attempts to construct a democracy and market
economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls
of the communist period.