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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spartak Moscow Coach To Lead National Team




Oleg Romantsev, head coach of Russian champion Spartak Moscow, took charge of the national team for the second time on Monday.


He succeeded Anatoly Byshovets, fired this month after just five months in charge. It was Russia's sixth change of coach in as many years.


Romantsev, 45 next week, was appointed at a meeting of the Russian Football Union. He previously led Russia to Euro 96 but was dismissed after the team performed poorly in the finals.


Byshovets, a former Dynamo Kiev and Soviet national team striker, who coached the former Soviet Union to the 1992 European championship finals, was sacked after six straight defeats, including three European qualifiers, one against Iceland.


Romantsev, whose main challenge came from Alania Vladikavkaz coach Valery Gazzayev, has a solid record with Spartak, who have won six of the seven post-Soviet Russian championships and reached the UEFA Cup semifinals last season.


He said he would aim to combine the job with his role at Spartak.


At a news conference Friday, Romantsev said that he would take the job if the union offered it to him. But he added: "Under one condition - I will remain the Spartak coach."


He made it clear on Friday he wanted to look at a new generation of players and make his Spartak Moscow club a base for the national team.


Romantsev blamed the frequent movement of players in Europe after the Bosman ruling as one of the main reasons for the recent decline in Russian soccer.


Russia failed to qualify for this year's World Cup finals, its first absence in 20 years, and now looks set to miss the European championship finals in 2000. Romantsev has said his goal will be qualification for the 2002 World Cup.


The former Soviet defender has a patchy record with the national side.


The authoritarian coach, who hails from Siberia, saw his side take just one point from three group games at Euro 96 amid bitter internal squabbling. Romantsev sent home three of his most experienced players.


Meanwhile, Byshovets, 52, has reportedly received an offer to coach the Iranian Olympic squad.