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Soviet-born German footballer gets Russian passport — national team's official

May 30, 12:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On May 25 Russian President signed a decree to grant Russian citizenship to Schalke’s midfielder Roman Neustadter, who had declared he was eager to play for Russia
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Roman Neustaedter

Roman Neustaedter

© AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Germany’s Soviet-born footballer Roman Neustaedter has received his Russian passport, the national team’s press-service has said.

Last Wednesday it was announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed a decreed to grant Russian citizenship to Schalke’s midfielder Roman Neustadter, 28, who had declared he was eager to play for Russia.

To pick up the passport Neustaedter visited the Russian consulate-general in Bonn. Now he is to reunite with the national team, which is in training for the 2016 European Cup.

Neustaedter was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, in 1988. He moved to Germany in the first half of the 1990s. His father, Pyotr Neustaedter, is remembered by the senior generation of Russian fans as a Soviet top league footballer who played for such clubs as Kairat, Dnepr, Tavria, Spartak (Vladikavkaz), and later for Carlsruhe, Kemnitzer and Mainz. Neustaedter Jr.’s aunt and grandmother live in Russia.

Roman Neustaedter has played for Schalke since 2012. Previously he appeared in the line-up of Mainz and Borussia, of Moenchengladbach. He has to his credit two matches played for Germany’s national team. Both were unofficial and he will have an opportunity to play for Russia.

Another newly-naturalized player in the Russian squad at Euro-2016 will be goalkeeper Marinato Guilherme, of Brazil. He received Russian citizenship in November 2015. His debut for Russia was in a friendly vs Lithuania on March 26.

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