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MOSCOW, July 18. /TASS/. Brazilian striker Ari, who is currently playing for Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow FC, has submitted all of the required papers to obtain the Russian citizenship and the documents are pending the final consideration, Ilya Gerkus, the president of the Russian football club, told TASS on Tuesday.
"The process for receiving the Russian citizenship has been launched," Gerkus said in an interview with TASS. "All of the required documents have been submitted and they are currently pending the final stage of consideration."
Born in Fortaleza, Brazil, on December 11, 1985, Ari joined the Russian football club Krasnodar in 2013. He was transferred to Lokomotiv FC from Krasnodar FC in February this year on terms of a previously reached loan agreement. The deal was extended last month for another season.
Brazil’s Ari will not be the first foreigner seeking the Russian citizenship, which would allow him to play for the national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Germany’s Soviet-born footballer Roman Neustaedter received the Russian citizenship in May last year.
Marinato Guilherme of Brazil was another newly-naturalized player to receive the citizenship and be enlisted for the Russian squad to play at the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup. He received Russian citizenship in November 2015 and debuted for the Russia national team in a friendly match against Lithuania on March 26, 2016.