CSKA head coach Leonid Slutsky has signed a contract with the Russian Football Union until the end of the qualifying round of Euro-2016, a source in the Russian Football Union has told TASS.
"We have signed a contract with the Russian specialist to end of the qualifying cycle of Europe-2016, and at this stage he will take two positions — head coach of the national team and of CSKA," the press service said. "The Ministry of Sports has supported this decision."
Previously the Russian Football Union dissolved the contract with Italian coach Fabio Capello, who coached the team since 2012. "I could not refuse the offer due to the complicated situation the national team is facing now," Slutsky said. "Being coach of the national team is big honour and responsibility. It would not be easy, but I am grateful for the honour."
Slutsky will hold two positions simultaneously - those of the chief coach of his club, CSKA, and of the national team.
"The decision to agree to do both jobs was not very hard to make," Slutsky said. "I would like to say great thanks to the people who invited me into the national team. Possibly that’s indirect recognition I managed to achieve something as a coach before. But I am perfectly aware that the national team in a sense annuls my previous achievements. At this highest level my performance will be scrutinized far more closely and deeply. I don’t feel scared at all. As before, the team has good chances to qualify for the 2016 European Cup finals. At this point only this period is on the agenda."
During the Euro-2016 group qualification Russia will have to play four games. 5 September the team meets Sweden in Moscow; 8 September Russia plays Liechtenstein in Vaduz; 9 October Russia and Moldova play in Kishinev and 12 September the Russian national team meets its counterpart from Montenegro in Saint Petersburg. Currently Russia is ranked three in the G Group with 8 points after six games. The group is led by Austria with 16 points and Sweden with 12 points. The Euro-2016 finals, to take place in France, will be played by teams ranked first and second places in their respective groups. The third place teams will be able to make it to France if they win play-offs in November. If a team ranks best among other third-place teams it will get to the finals automatically.
Leonid Slutsky began his coaching career in 1993 at the age of 22: he trained 12-year-old footballers in the Volgograd Olympia school. In 1999 his team made it to the second division in Russia. From 2002 to 2003 Slutsky coached FC Uralan reserve team; from 2003 to 2004 he coached the main Elista City team.
After Uralan was dissolved, Slutsky was invited to work as the senior coach of FC Moskva reserve team; in 2005 he led the main team. In 2007 the club made it to Russia’s Cup finals. The same year Slutky transferred to FC Krylia Sovetov and worked there until 2009. 17 days after leaving that team he began the main coach of FC CSKA.
FC CSKA was ranked fifth in the Russian Championship. In the Champion’s League 2009/2010 the team made it to the quarter finals, becoming the first Russian team to get that far in 14 years. In 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 CSK won the Russian Championship. In 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 it has won Russia’s Cup and in 2013 and 2014 the Super Cup.