Russia has suffered a major setback ahead of Euro 2016 after key playmaker Alan Dzagoev was ruled out of the tournament through injury.
The 25-year-old had looked set to shine in France, following a season in which he helped CSKA Moscow secure their sixth Russian Premier League title and first since 2014.
A favourite of national team coach Leonid Slutsky, who also coaches CSKA, Dzagoev will now miss Euro 2016 after breaking a metatarsal in the club’s crucial 1-0 victory over Rubin Kazan.
“This is a big loss for us. It’s sad because he was in great form,” RFU president Vitaly Mutko said in a statement given of the TASS news agency.
“Dzagoev will be replaced by Torbinski. He’s a great guy and a great player.”
The 32-year-old Torbinski plays his club football with Krasnodar, where he has so far made 15 appearances and has returned to the fold in recent months following an extended period away from the Russian national team set up.
Capped 28 times to date for Russia, the midfielder’s last international goal came at Euro 2008, where he scored in the national team’s 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Holland.
Dzagoev was among the goalscorers at Euro 2012, emerging from Russia’s disastrous showing in Poland and Ukraine with some credit.
A dip in form saw him lose his starting place in the team under Fabio Capello before the arrival of Slutsky saw the attacking midfielder brought back into the fold.
He will now miss the tournament with the same foot injury suffered by David Beckham in the build up to World Cup 2002 and Wayne Rooney in the months before World Cup 2006.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.