Guardiola on Russia's coaching wish list

Story highlights

  • Former Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola is wanted by Russia
  • He is joined on 13-man wish list by Fabio Capello and Marcello Lippi
  • Russians also targeting Marcelo Bielsa, Harry Redknapp and Rafael Benitez
  • Dick Advocaat left Russia job after Euro 2012 to return to club coaching

The Russian Football Union has drawn up an ambitious wish list of some of the sport's biggest names to replace departed coach Dick Advocaat.

Top of the bill is undoubtedly ex-Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola, who quit the former European and Spanish champions at the end of last season in order to take a break from the game.

Former England coach Fabio Capello is also on the 13-man list, posted on the RFU website on Tuesday, along with his fellow Italian Marcello Lippi -- a World Cup winner in 2006, and now with Chinese team Guangzhou Evergrande.

Former Argentina and Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa is also being considered, despite insisting that he wants to stay at Athletic Bilbao in the wake of an argument with the Spanish club's board.

The RFU is also targeting two men with less international-level experience but a good club pedigree: Rafael Benitez and Harry Redknapp.

Former Liverpool and Valencia boss Benitez has not held a coaching position since being sacked by Inter Milan in December 2010, while Redknapp is a more recent addition to the unemployed ranks after being sacked by English club Tottenham in June.

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Redknapp had been widely favored to replace Capello as England coach, but the 65-year-old missed out as Roy Hodgson was instead appointed ahead of Euro 2012.

Valery Nepomnyashchy, who took Cameroon to the quarterfinals of the 1990 World Cup, is one of seven Russians on the list.

Former U.S.S.R. international Valery Gazzaev coached the national side from 2002-03, while Anatoliy Byshovets was in charge in 1998 and led the Soviet team to Olympic gold a decade before that. Dynamo Kiev's Yury Syomin had a brief spell as Russia boss in 2005.

Of the others, former Dynamo Moscow manager Andrei Kobelev and Yuri Krasnozhan (ex-Anzhi Makhachkala) have had no top-level international experience, while Nikolai Pisarev coaches the Russia Under-21 team.

Russia's last two coaches have been Dutchmen, with Advocaat following Guus Hiddink.

Hiddink took Russia to the semifinals of Euro 2008, but then failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup as the team surprisingly lost to unfancied Slovenia in a playoff. He is now coach at Anzhi.

Advocaat helped Zenit St. Petersburg become only the second Russian club to win a European title in the second-tier UEFA Cup in 2008, and was named Russia coach after a short spell in charge of both Belgium's national side and Dutch team AZ Alkmaar.

He announced before Euro 2012 that he would stand down after the tournament to return to his homeland with PSV Eindhoven, and Russia crashed out in the group stage after failing to follow up the impressive opening 4-1 win over the Czech Republic.

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