Russia have suffered a major blow ahead of the FIFA World Cup with the news that captain Roman Shirokov will miss the tournament due to a recurrence of an Achilles injury.
Coach Fabio Capello had named the midfielder, currently on loan at FC Krasnodar from FC Zenit, in his 23-man squad despite the 32-year-old not having played since suffering the injury during the 26 April match against FC Lokomotiv Moskva. However, a setback in Shirokov's recovery means he will take no part in Brazil.
"Shirokov will fly to Finland this Monday for surgery," said Capello after the 2-0 success against Morocco on Friday. "The decision was made this morning. I am fully confident in my players. Shirokov is a key player for us, but other players can do well too."
The Italian announced that 21-year-old Zenit midfielder Pavel Mogilevets, who made his debut during the May friendly win against Slovakia, will replace the captain. "Mogilevets will replace Shirokov in our squad but we still have time before 15 June to make final changes in the squad's lineup," he said. Russia open their Group H campaign against South Korea on 18 June before taking on Belgium four days later and concluding against Algeria.
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