Olympique de Marseille striker Dmitri Sytchev has earned a recall to Valeri Gazzaev's Russia squad after an impressive return to action following his four-month ban.
Squad for Cyprus
The 19-year-old striker, who was banned by the Football Union of Russia in early September after walking out on his former club FC Spartak Moskva, joined Marseille late last year and has already impressed for the Ligue 1 club. He is included in a 24-man squad for the Cyprus international tournament in which Russia will compete next month.
"Sytchev has shown he is willing to earn his return to the national fold", said Russia's assistant coach, Alexander Borodyuk, who saw the youngster find the net for Marseille against OGC Nice last weekend.
Impressive World Cup
Sytchev was one of the few pluses to come out of Russia's disappointing campaign at last summer's FIFA World Cup, scoring once and providing three assists. However, he sparked a major scandal in Russia by terminating his contract with Spartak. After training with Ukraine's FC Dynamo Kyiv as his suspension ran its course, he joined Marseille for an undisclosed compensation fee when the ban ended on 4 January.
Bober called up
FC Krylya Sovetov midfield player Anton Bober - one of Sytchev's youthful contemporaries - has earned a first call-up, along with PFC CSKA Moskva midfield player Alan Kusov, FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast goalkeeper Valeri Chizhov and PFC CSKA Moskva's Alexey Berezoutski.
Valeri Karpin, meanwhile, who had been dropped from the side after the World Cup, has been recalled by Gazzaev after an impressive season with Spanish league leaders Real Sociedad. Russia will play Cyprus in the semi-finals of the friendly tournament on 12 February, and, depending on the outcome, will face Romania or Slovakia the next day.
Ovchinnikov, Chizhov, Mandrykin, Onopko, Solomatin, Nizhegorodov, Evsikov, Ignashevich, Alexey Berezoutski, Smertin, Aldonin, Gusev, Karpin, Kusov, Khokhlov, Yanovski, Loskov, Karyaka, Bober, Sychev, Beschastnykh, Popov, Kirichenko, Kerzhakov.
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