MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. Leonid Slutsky, who guided CSKA Moscow football club to the champion’s title in the Russian Football Premier League’s 2016/2016 season tournament, was named on Tuesday the country’s best coach, according to the Russian Football Union (RFU).
Slutsky, who is also the head coach of the Russian national football team, had only one contender for the title of the Russian football coach of the year and it was Kurban Berdyev, who led Rostov FC to the second place in the Russian championship securing a berth for the club in UEFA Champions League next season.
This is the third time Slutsky was named the Russian football coach of the year with the title awarded to him at the helm of CSKA two times previously in 2013 and 2014.
Slutsky, 45, began career of a coach in 1993 at the age of 22 - he was working with a group of 12 year-old boys in Volgograd and brought the team to the first place in local competitions in 1999. Later on, he worked as the coach of different Russian football clubs.
In October of 2009, he was invited to be the head coach of the CSKA FC taking the club to the leading positions in the national competitions.
On August 7, 2015, the RFU announced that Slutsky was appointed the head coach of the national team in place of previous Italian specialist Fabio Capello. The announcement followed Russia’s 0-1 defeat to Austria in the 2016 Euro Cup qualifier in Moscow on June 14, 2015.
Slutsky managed to guide the national team to victories in all remaining qualifying matches of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup starting with 1-0 victory over Sweden on September 5 and earned the spot for Russia in Europe’s main football tournament.
The new coach’s inaugural match against the Swedish squad followed with a crushing 7-0 victory over Liechtenstein three days later and then he took the team to victories over Moldova (2-1) on October 9 and Montenegro (2-0) on October 12.
Slutsky and his team’s players are currently in the Swiss town of Bad-Ragaz, where they arrived for the training camp.
Before the start of the European biggest football event, held once every four years, the Russian team will play two friendly matches - against the Czech Republic on June 1 in Austria’s Innsbruck, and against Croatia on June 5 in Monaco.
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.