March 10, 2017 10:31:45 pm
Russia defender Vasily Berezutsky has retired from international soccer, one year before his country hosts the World Cup.
The 35-year-old Berezutsky played 101 games for Russia dating back to 2003, and the national team doesn’t have an obvious replacement. Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov has experimented with various defenders in recent friendlies, with largely unimpressive results, including a loss to Qatar.
Berezutsky’s last game for Russia was a 4-3 loss to Costa Rica in October in which he made several key errors.
Russia hasn’t gone past the group stage at a major tournament since 2008.
Neither Berezutsky’s twin brother Alexei nor his longtime partner at center back, Sergei Ignashevich, has been selected since last year’s European Championship. Former captain Roman Shirokov retired after Euro 2016.