Following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Russia
rejoined FIFA as an independent nation in 1992 and competed at the
1994 FIFA World Cup USA™ two years later. Famously, Oleg Salenko
fired five goals against Cameroon to set a tournament record which
stands to this day.
However, the Russians failed to qualify for the 1998 and 2006 tournaments and disappointed at Korea/Japan 2002. A long time has passed since the golden era of the 1950s and 1960s when powerful USSR teams were built around goalkeeping legend Lev Yashin, one of the game's all-time greats.
UEFA EURO 2004 in Portugal was another disappointment, as they became the first side to be eliminated from the tournament. However, they were the only team to defeat eventual champions Greece.
Guus Hiddink took the controls in 2006, and the Dutch tactician swiftly began his attempt to lead the side to a place at EURO 2008. After a slow start, the Russians clicked into gear and a 1-0 win in Andorra in their final qualifier proved enough for them pip England to a ticket to Austria and Switzerland.
Having successfully made it to the European finals, Russia will now be out to appear on the world stage in 2010.