Pogrebnyak picked Russia's World Cup team

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 12, 2014 at 10:25 am •  Published: May 12, 2014
Advertisement
;

MOSCOW (AP) — Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak was included in Russia coach Fabio Capello's preliminary squad for the World Cup on Monday.

Pogrebnyak made the 30-man list despite not having played for Russia since Capello took over as coach in 2012. But there was no recall for former Arsenal forward Andrei Arshavin or former Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

Up front, Pogrebnyak faces competition from regular strikers Alexander Kerzhakov and Alexander Kokorin.

Midfielder Roman Shirokov, who has captained Russia in each game the team has played since October, made the cut despite being loaned out by Zenit St. Petersburg following a reported dispute with club officials.

CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and center back Sergei Ignashevich are among seven to have been on the Russia squad that reached the semifinals of the 2008 European Championship, widely considered the country's greatest football achievement since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Four players — Terek Grozny defender Andrei Semyonov, FC Krasnodar midfielder Yuri Gazinsky, Rubin Kazan midfielder Pavel Mogilevets and Amkar Perm forward Maxim Kannunikov — have never played for Russia.

The 30-man squad will be cut down to a final 23 by June 2, 10 days before play starts in Brazil.

Russia, the 2018 World Cup host, will face South Korea, Belgium and Algeria in the group stage in Brazil.

The Russians will play home friendlies against Slovakia on May 26 and Morocco on June 6, with a match at Norway on May 31.