Naturalized Brazilian leads Russia’s Confed Cup plans

May 15, 2017 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) — Naturalized Brazilian defender Mario Fernandes could play for Russia at next month’s Confederations Cup.

The CSKA Moscow right back, who received a Russian passport last year after making one appearance for Brazil in a friendly in 2014, has yet to play for his adopted country but made the host nation’s preliminary squad for June 17-July 2 tournament.

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov has tried to rejuvenate a squad which was among the oldest at last year’s European Championship, replacing veterans like Sergei Ignashevich and Vasily Berezutsky.

Only one player in the 30-man preliminary squad plays outside Russia, naturalized German defender Roman Neustaedter, who plays for Fenerbahce.

The squad list must be cut to 23 players by June 7.

Russia will play New Zealand, Portugal and Mexico in the group stage.