BAKOVKA /Moscow Region/, March 11. /TASS/. Brazil-born Marinato Guilherme, a Russian citizen and a goalkeeper of Lokomotiv Moscow FC, said on Friday he would try to learn the words of the Russian national anthem to sing it before the national team’s upcoming matches this month.
The 30-year-old goalkeeper, who was granted the Russian citizenship last November, was included on Friday in the preliminary roster of the national football team for friendly matches against Lithuania and France in late March.
"I can say that I am extremely happy," Guilherme told journalists commenting on his inclusion in the national team’s roster. "I simply want to use this chance, to help the team and to feel myself as Russian. This is in my heart."
"This day is very important for me," he said. "I need to show on the field everything I am capable of. I will try to sing the national anthem on the field in case I am in the final roster. But I still have to learn all of the words [of the anthem]."
As part of its preparations for the UEFA Euro Cup 2016 championship, the Russian national football squad is scheduled to play a home friendly match with Lithuania at the Otkritie-Arena in Moscow on March 26 and an away friendly fixture against France at Stade de France Arena on March 29.
The 2016 UEFA Euro Cup will be held in France between June 10 and July 10 with matches to be played in 10 different locations, namely in Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.
A total of 24 European national teams qualified for the Euro Cup final tournament in 2016, after the contestants’ format, which was used since 1996, was decided to be extended from 16 to 24 teams.
The contesting teams were divided into six groups and Russia was placed into Group B, sharing it with the teams from England, Wales and Slovakia.