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Stars of UEFA EURO 2016: Russia's Artem Dzyuba

Russia's top scorer during UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying with eight goals, Artem Dzyuba has won a mere 15 caps but has become indispensable since Leonid Slutski took charge.

Artem Dzyuba racked up eight goals for Russia in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying
Artem Dzyuba racked up eight goals for Russia in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying ©Getty Images

At a glance
Brought through the ranks at Spartak Moskva, Artem Dzyuba made his first-team debut in 2006 but first began to shine on loan at Tom Tomsk and Rostov, winning his first major trophy when he lifted the Russian Cup with Rostov in 2014. Instead of continuing his progress at Spartak, the forward opted to join Zenit last summer – and made a swift impact with 16 goals in all competitions in the first half of this season.

International pedigree
An effective performer at Under-21 level, Dzyuba initially struggled to break into the senior side and was left out of Russia's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup despite 17 goals for Rostov in 2013/14. It took Leonid Slutski's appointment as coach last summer for the 27-year-old to become first choice, and overall he rattled in eight goals during UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying – including the only strike in a key win against Sweden in September, followed by four in a 7-0 defeat of Liechtenstein.

What he offers

Russia’s EURO star: Artem Dzyuba
Russia’s EURO star: Artem Dzyuba

Importance for Russia
Dzyuba is a powerful centre-forward who scores a large percentage of his goals in the air, while also being a hard-working player and a fine finisher with his right foot. With Aleksandr Kokorin struggling for consistency and Fedor Smolov still vying to become a regular presence, Dzyuba's position in Russia's first XI has never been more assured.

International career
Debut: Greece 1-1 Russia, 11 November 2011 (friendly)
Appearances: 15
Goals: 8

EURO final tournament (Russia record)
Appearances: 0 (Aleksandr Anyukov, 9)
Goals: 0 (Roman Pavlyuchenko, 4)