MOSCOW: Russia’s captain and star striker Andrei Arshavin is hoping at Euro 2012 to show the blazing inspiration that set the last tournament alight after his insipid stint with English Premier League giants Arsenal.
The 30-year-old — who has only ever played for two clubs — rejoined Zenit in February on a loan deal from Arsenal and will stay at the Russian club until July.
Arshavin’s dashing runs and flashing strikes at goal were one of the highlights of Euro 2008 and a memorable goal by him against the Netherlands took Russia to the semi-finals where they lost to eventual winners Spain.
It was the need to ensure a first-team place for Euro 2012 that encouraged Arshavin to move back to Russia from London and he scored his first international goal in several encounters during a friendly with Denmark in February.
Clearly relieved after scoring, he ran towards Russian team coach and his former Zenit mentor Dick Advocaat who kissed Arshavin on the forehead.
But a cloud was cast ahead of the Euro when Advocaat announced he would be leaving the national team after the championships.
“Speaking frankly I’m upset with his decision,” Arshavin said.
But he added that Advocaat was a “professional” and he and the team would be working together to achieve a good result.