Poland, June 8 : Andrei Arshavin says his Russia team lacks the pace needed to be seen as a serious contender for the European Championship.
Russia, which takes on the Czech Republic on Friday in the teams' Group A opener, has the oldest forward line at Euro 2012 with an average age of 30. However, they have looked fit and sharp in training this week.
Arshavin tells the UEFA.com website Russia “lacks too much speed to be considered a favorite during this tournament.”
But he adds that the team has the advantage of having played together for a long time.
Dick Advocaat's squad includes 11 survivors from Euro 2008 and seven who play at Zenit St. Petersburg.
Arshavin says players “know each other's movements, and that has to be of benefit to us.”