With the 2018 World Cup taking place in Russia for the first time it is perhaps useful to look at the number of players who play their club football in Russia and specifically the Russian Premier League. It could be that a player who is more familiar with the stadiums, the infrastructure and the nature of football in Russia can feel more comfortable and confident at the World Cup and give his national team a small edge.
Russian football is dominated by the more traditional Moscow based teams like Lokomotiv Moscow, Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow. Post Soviet big money and rich ownership has propelled teams into the heights of European football with, briefly, Anzhi Makhachkala, FK Krasnodar and Zenit St. Petersburg helping Russia to 6th place in the UEFA country ranking.
Below is a list of some of the foreign players who play for the aforementioned clubs and others in the Russian Premier League and may represent their country there starting on June 14, 2018.
Manuel Fernandes Central Midfielder Portugal 31 years old Lokomotiv Moscow
Eder Forward Portugal 30 Lokomotiv Moscow
Milad Mohammadi Right back Iran 24 Akhmat Grozny
Sardar Azmoun Forward Iran 23 Rubin Kazan
Jefferson Farfan Winger Peru 33 Lokomotiv Moscow
Emanuel Mammana Defender Argentina 21 Zenit St. Petersburg
Leandro Paredes Central midfielder Argentina 23 Zenit St. Petersburg
Matias Kranevitter Central midfielder Argentina 24 Zenit St. Petersburg
Emiliano Rigoni Winger Argentina 24 Zenit St. Petersburg
Ragnar Sigurdsson Defender Iceland 31 FK Rostov
Sverrir Ingi Ingason Defender Iceland 24 FK Rostov
Mario Pasalic Central midfielder Croatia 22 Spartak Moscow
Vedran Corluka Defender Croatia 31 Lokomotiv Moscow
Bryan Idowu Left back Nigeria 25 Amkar Perm
Aaron Olanare Forward Nigeria 23 CSKA Moscow
Branislav Ivanovic Defender Serbia 33 Zenit St. Petersburg
Andreas Granqvist Defender Sweden 32 FK Krasnodar
Sebastian Holmen Defender Sweden 25 Dinamo Moscow
Viktor Claesson Midfielder Sweden 26 FK Krasnodar
Maciej Rybus Midfielder Poland 28 Lokomotiv Moscow