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Euro 1960: The Golden Age of Soviet Football

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The recent history of Russian football has been steady, if somewhat unremarkable. Russian clubs did experience some success in Europe in the late 2000s. Furthermore, the national team has consistently qualified for major tournaments, even becoming the dark horses of Euro 2008. However, as Russia prepares to play in Euro 2016 this summer, the fact remains that they look a long way from actually challenging for honours. In this regard, they live in the shadow of their Soviet predecessors. The ‘Red Army’, as they were known, experienced their pinnacle in 1960, when they won the inaugural European Championships. In doing so, they carved their names into Russian footballing history. Generations have tried and failed to emulate them since. 


The Brilliant Quartet

The core of the team that propelled the Soviet Union to European glory emerged in the 1950s. They seemed to mirror the new brash, confident nature of the nation. The USSR had emerged victorious from WWII and cemented its place as a g…