German football club Schalke confirmed on Tuesday that its midfielder Roman Neustaedter will soon obtain Russian citizenship, thus gaining an opportunity to play for Russia’s national squad.
“I can now confirm that Roman will obtain Russian citizenship and therefore be eligible to play for Russia,” Schalke’s public relations officer Thomas Spiegel said, reports Tass.
Earlier, a source familiar with the situation said that for the sake of getting Russian citizenship Neustaedter agreed to abdicate his German citizenship.
On Saturday, the coaches of Russia’s national team included Neustaedter in the list of 23 players who will be training for the Euros in France. Neustaedter does not have his Russian passport yet, but the Russian squad’s head coach, Leonid Slutsky, said the “issue will be settled within days.”
Neustaedter was born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, in 1988. He moved to Germany in the first half of the 1990s.
His father, Pyotr Neustaedter, is remembered by the senior generation of Russian fans as a Soviet top league footballer who played for such clubs as Kairat, Dnepr, Tavria, Spartak (Vladikavkaz), and later for Carlsruhe, Kemnitzer and Mainz. Neustaedter Jr.’s aunt and grandmother live in Russia.
Roman Neustaedter has played for Schalke since 2012. Previously he appeared in the line-up of Mainz and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
He has played two matches for the German national team. Both were unofficial and he will have an opportunity to play for Russia as soon as he gets his Russian passport.