After Russia’s landmark victory in the quarterfinals of Euro-2008 Football Championship many parents started to name their newborns in honors of Russian football stars. Two couples, whose baby-boys were born on June 22, named their sons in honor of the Russian head coach, Guus Hiddink. Others decide to name their boys after footballers Roman Pavlyuchenko and Andrei Arshavin, who scored goals during the game with Holland.
Two families from Russia’s Novosibirsk and Sverdlovsk regions named their newborn boys Guus, after Guus Hiddink. These were the only two occurrences when parents decided to name their boys so. However, many other football fans who became parents after Russia’s victory in the quarterfinals, decided to name their baby-boys Andrei, in honor of the Russian forward Andrei Arshavin, who had already become one of the stars of the current championship. This name became most popular in St. Petersburg. Twelve babies were named so in the city last week.
A young family from the Novosibirsk region of Russia decided to name their baby-boy in honor of the Russian head coach Guus Hiddink. The father of the family, a football fan, asked his wife to write the following statement to the register office: “I herewith ask to name by son, born June 22, 2008, Guus Gorodnikov. Employees of the office gave the happy parents a month to rethink the name of the baby.
A baby camel that was born in the zoo of the city of Nalchik was named in honor of Andrei Arshavin too. The animal was named Arsha – this is how Russian football fans call the forward.
Russia coach Guus Hiddink wants his young team to avoid schoolboy errors when it gets a second chance to beat undefeated Spain in the European Championship semifinals.
Hiddink blasted his players for giving the ball away too easily after losing to Spain 4-1 in their group opener, and they seem to have learned the lesson, the AP reports.
Two weeks later, the Russians have kicked Greece, Sweden and the Netherlands out of the tournament while conceding only one goal.
"They have beaten very difficult opponents," Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez said. "This match will be different, but were not changing our philosophy to dominate the ball for 90 minutes and play offensively."
Spain knows they're up against a different Russia this time, not least because playmaker Andrei Arshavin is back in Hiddink's team after serving a two-match suspension in the group stage.
"There's a lot of talk about Arshavin, but I think Russia is a bloc," Xavi said. "They have players that are not that well-known in Europe that are doing well, like Yuri Zhirkov on the left midfield and (striker Roman) Pavlyuchenko."
Spain fullback Joan Capdevila got a knock in Tuesday's training and left the session early but was not seriously hurt. The rest of the squad is injury-free.
Hiddink has slight worries, with midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, forward Ivan Sayenko and Alexander Anyukov all carrying minor injuries from the quarterfinals.
While they may be fit for Thursday's semifinal match in Vienna, Hiddink will have to pick a team without central defender Denis Kolodin and attacking midfielder Dmitry Torbinski, who are both suspended after picking up their second yellow cards of the tournament against the Netherlands.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea