Russia has always fielded competitive teams, as Soviet union before 1991 and
thereafter as it became known as the Russian Federation. In 1966 USSR
reached the semifinal match, and their qualification record since the eighties
has been very good. In qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, Russia finished
with a respectable 6-5-1 record, but a loss to Slovakia prevented them from a
run off against
Club soccer is on the rise in Russia, with CSKA Moscow winning the UEFA Cup
in 2005, and the national team looks to be a contender in future qualifications.