On 11 August at a special meeting of the Football Union of Russia executive committee, Stanislav Cherchesov was appointed to the role of Russia head coach. The 52-year-old has been tasked with guiding the country's senior team through their preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, as well as their performance at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017.
The position of national-team head coach became available after Leonid Slutsky stepped down following a disappointing campaign at UEFA EURO 2016. Cherchesov's successful career as a goalkeeper began at Spartak Ordzhonikidze (later known as Alania Vladikavkaz) in his native North Ossetia in 1981.
Three years later, he moved to Spartak Moscow to serve as Rinat Dasaev's understudy before eventually replacing the legendary goalkeeper both at club level and for the former Soviet Union, where he picked up his first eight international caps. Cherchesov decided to move abroad in 1993 and joined Dynamo Dresden for a couple of seasons. In 1996, he signed a contract at Tirol Innsbruck where he played for much of the rest of his career, although this experience was bookended by two short stints back at Spartak Moscow in 1995 and 2002.
On the international stage, Cherchesov managed to represent three different national teams, playing eight matches for the USSR, twice for the CIS football team and 39 times for Russia. He was named as Russia's first-ever captain in 1992 and went on to make one appearance at the 1994 World Cup USA, when Russia thrashed Cameroon 6-1 in their best performance of the tournament. Stanislav also featured twice at EURO 1996 in England, while he was reserve goalkeeper at Korea/Japan 2002 before calling time on his career after the tournament ended.
In terms of honours as a player, Cherchesov lifted two league titles in the USSR, two in Russia and one Soviet Cup for Spartak Moscow. During his time at Tirol, he also won the Austrian Bundesliga three seasons in a row. He made his first foray into coaching while in Austria, taking charge of lower-league clubs Kufstein and Wacker Tirol. He returned to Moscow in 2006 to take up the position of sporting director at Spartak before being appointed as their head coach a year later.
With Cherchesov in the dugout, Spartak finished runners-up in the Russian Premier League. However, results then began to worsen and he was forced to leave in summer 2008 after the club failed to progress through the Champions League qualifying rounds.
Following a short period away from the game, Cherchesov revived his coaching career at the newly formed Zhemchuzhina Sochi. In 2011, he made his return to the top-flight football in Russia by taking over at Terek Grozny. In two seasons at the Chechen club, he managed to secure their mid-table status. After his contract with Terek expired, Cherchesov moved to Amkar Perm where he also recorded decent results. He then moved to Dinamo Moscow in spring 2014, staying there until the end of 2014/15.
Cherchesov won the first trophies of his coaching career at his next club, Legia Warsaw in Poland, lifting the league and cup double in his debut season at the helm. It proved to be a short-lived stay, however, as he left the club after just one season.