Moscow (AFP) – Russia recalled striker Alexander Kokorin on Tuesday, ending his exile after a video emerged of him cavorting at a champagne-fuelled party in Monaco shortly after Russia’s early exit from Euro 2016.
Manager Stanislav Cherchesov included the Zenit St Petersburg forward in a 24-man squad for the 2018 World Cup hosts for November friendlies away at Qatar and against Romania in Grozny.
After the video was splashed across the Internet, sparking public fury, Kokorin was punished by his club and completely ignored by Russia since Cherchesov was appointed in August.
But the 25-year-old’s performances for Zenit in the Russian Premier League and Europa League appear to have won over the manager, who named an entirely domestic-based squad for the game at Doha on November 10 and in Grozny five days later.
Midfielder Denis Glushakov and wing-back Dmitry Kombarov, both from Spartak Moscow — the Russian league leaders — were also called up for the first time since the Euro debacle this summer.
Russia won a friendly against Ghana 1-0, drew with Turkey 0-0 and lost to Costa Rica 4-3 since Cherchesov took over, handed the daunting task of rejuvenating the national side for the home World Cup.
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Soslan Dzhanayev (Rostov), Stanislav Kritsyuk (Krasnodar)
Defenders: Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Viktor Vasin (Ufa), Ivan Novoseltsev (Zenit St Petersburg), Fedor Kudryashov (Rostov), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semenov (Terek Grozny), Roman Shishkin (Lokomotiv Moscow)
Midfielders: Yury Gazinsky (Krasnodar), Denis Glushakov, Roman Zobnin, Dmitry Kombarov (all Spartak Moscow), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (Rostov), Yury Zhirkov, Pavel Mogilevets (both Zenit St Petersburg), Alexei Miranchuk, Alexander Samedov (both Lokomotiv Moscow), Magomed Ozdoyev (Rubin Kazan)
Forwards: Maxim Kanunnikov (Rubin Kazan), Alexander Kokorin (Zenit St Petersburg), Dmitry Poloz (Rostov)
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