Yesterday the Russian football players at last succeeded in advancing from its group after 20 years of failures. Let us recall that the last time it was the Soviet (not Russian) national team that advanced to the quarter-finals at the European Championship in 1988. That time the team of head coach Valery Lobanovsky made a small football miracle when it reached the final but lost to the Dutch team with its brilliant trio: Rijkaard, Guulit and van Basten.
The heroes of the yesterday’s game were Andrey Arshavin (Zenit) who played for the first time after a two-game suspension at EURO-2008 due to disqualification, and Roman Pavlyuchenko (Spartak) who was the first to score.
Now the Russian national football team will face a supercomplicated challenge, because in the quarter-finals we will play with the brightest and most efficient team at EURO-2008 – the Dutch national football team. The Russian team’s coach Guus Hiddink called the Dutch team the best team of this championship. The game will be played in Basel on June 21.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated the Russian football players with the victory.