Russia’s Football Union (RFU) on Thursday appointed ex-Legia Warsaw boss Stanislav Cherchesov as the country’s new national coach, handing him the daunting task of leading the team into the 2018 World Cup.
Russian Cherchesov, 52, replaces CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky, who resigned from the position after Russia crashed out of Euro 2016 without a win.
“It would be silly to say that we will win the World Cup at home,” Cherchesov, who is under contract until the end of the 2018 tournament, said at a press conference.
“Our task now is to build a competitive team by 2018.”
The former international goalkeeper has vast coaching experience at club level — in Austria as well as at a string of Russian teams including Dynamo Moscow — but has yet to manage a national team.
Last season Cherchesov guided Polish high-flyers Legia to the league title and the national cup in his first year with the club.
Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who also heads the country’s football union, praised Cherchesov for his “will and character” and his knowledge of Russian football.
“We are convinced that this professional is well-versed in Russian football, that he knows all the realities of our football life and is fully informed about the quality of our players,” Mutko said.
Russia’s national team appear in total disarray less than two years before the country hosts the World Cup.
Mutko said last week that the squad would be rebuilt from scratch after their disappointing Euro campaign.
Cherchesov played for Spartak Moscow, German outfit Dynamo Dresden and won three Austrian titles with Tirol Innsbruck. – Agence France-Presse