Former midfielder of the Russian national team and Moscow’s “Spartak” Alexander Mostovoy does not see the logic in naturalizing and playing foreign players for the national team.
“I am against Malcolm and Claudinho playing for the Russian national team. Then why is everyone shouting that we need to develop our own players? Let’s play everyone then. There are good legionnaires in CSKA and Krasnodar, and Zenit still has many Brazilians, let them all be given passports. What is the point and logic of them being needed for the national team, especially when we return to the international arena. It is clear that Malcolm and Claudinho will strengthen the Russian national team, but what is the meaning and logic?” Mostovoy’s words are reported by “Match TV.”
In the current season of the Russian Premier League (RPL), Malcolm took part in 16 matches, in which he managed to score 11 goals and make five assists. Claudinho scored two goals and made four assists in 11 RPL matches this season.
The players of “Zenit” themselves initiated the possibility of obtaining Russian citizenship.
The most prominent representative of a naturalized footballer in the Russian national team is considered to be defender Mario Fernandes. He played 33 games for the national team.