Russia has finally named it’s 23-man squad, and the country is well-poised to kick off the 2018 World Cup inaugural match. The composition of the team strikes as vastly domestic, unlike other teams, tried to enter the competition.
Russians who will participate in the national team are all accustomed to playing at home. Only two of those players, Villareal’s Denis Cheryshev and goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulkov of Club Brugge have some foreign experience. It’s definitely not a great-looking team, not so much because the individual players on it are subpar in any fashion whatsoever.
The preoccupation, rather, stems from the mere fact that inexperience playing up against some of the best West football squads’ players is likely to mar the experience for the Russian viewer, as the team is unlikely to perform so well
2018 World Cup’s Russian Team
Meanwhile, there are a few players who are past their prime, as a turn of phrase would have it. Defender Sergei Ignashevich is going to be 39 in July, and that is a rather particular age to be a competitive football player. He was also a rather late addition to the team, following an injury affecting Ruslan Kambolov out of play.
Former Chelsea winger Yui Zhirkov and Artem Dzubya, as well as Alan Dzagoe, Igor Akinfeev, and a number of other popular names in Russian football, are joining the squad.
On the flipside, Russia’s strategy cuts the other way as well. It may be true that Russia is not familiar with foreigners first-hand, but then again the same goes for them. Even then, the western football elite is all quite the top-performers in every football competition you go, and this may put the hosts in an uneasy position.
Russia will also field twins, Aleksey and Anton Miranchuk, who will be the first identical siblings to join the fray since 2006’s event.
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Club Brugge), Andrey Lunev (Zenit St Petersburg).
Defenders: Vladimir Granat, Fedor Kudryashov (both Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrey Semenov (Akhmat Grozny), Sergei Ignashevich, Mario Fernandes (both CSKA Moscow), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St Petersburg).
Midfielders: Yuri Gazinskiy (Krasnodar), Alexsandr Golovin, Alan Dzagoev (both CSKA Moscow), Aleksandr Erokhin, Yuri Zhirkov, Daler Kuzyaev (all Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Zobnin, Alexsandr Samedov (both Spartak Moscow), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal).
Forwards: Artem Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Aleksey Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fedor Smolov (Krasnodar).
2018 World Cup Saudia Arabia’s Team
We can start right with the names who will appear in the Saudi Arabia national team when the first game of the 2018 World Cup kicks on 14 June. Not everyone on the team is a well-known name, but there are certainly a few names, that you would hate to miss. Those same names make the team a rather respectable foe to go up against, too.
The team stands as such: Assaf Al-Karny, Mohamed Al-Owais, Yasser Al-Musailem, Abdullah Al-Mayuf, Mansour Al-Harby, Yasser Al-Shahrany, Mohamed Al-Breik, Said Al-Muwalad, Motaz Hawsawi, Ossam Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Mohamed Jahfali, Ali Al-Buhaili, Abdallah Al-Khaibari, Abdelmarek Al-Khaibari, Abdallah Otayf, Taiseer Al-Jassem, Hussein Al-Mafhawy, Soliman Al-Faraj, Nawaf Al-Abd, Mohamed Kano, Hattan Bahbary, Mohamed Al-Kowaikaby, Salem Al-Dawsari, Yehia Al-Shahry, Fahd Al-Muwalad, Mohamed Al-Sahlawy, Muhannad Asiri.
The bookmakers put the odds of Saudi Aarabia actually winning the tournament as, well, long. However, the Saudi Arabian Squad have a respected coach on their side to bolster their play with insightful tips and advice.
Juan Antonio Pizzi is a former Spain strike who competed at Bobby Robson, who has moved from his managerial position as Chile’s trainer and has become Saudi Arabia’s third manager in three months. Is that good? Not in the slightest.
The constant turnaround of players means that Saudi Arabis is far from prepared to take on a serious challenge, and the bookmaker’s odds may be quite accurate on this occasion.
Saudi Arabia 2018 World Cup Team – Misc
The team is also predominantly domestic and it doesn’t have an impressive number of potential top picks to tout about. However, the limelight will shine o Mohammad Al-Sahlawi who has scored eight in the qualifying round against East Timo. Again, not the most formidable football team, but still a feat nonetheless.
The team also call themselves the Gren Falcons, which should be admitted one of the best monikers that a team may call themselves. Some prod the Saudi Arabia nationals that they lack the physical prowess to be competing at such an important event, but that remains to be seen.