The former Soviet Union countries are estimated to be over 22.4million kilometres in size – by that measurement, you’d expect that somewhere amongst those states, there would’ve been no shortage of top Premier League footballers.
Whilst not all former Soviet countries (Like Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) have got a representative in the team, to get you thinking about who potentially has made the line-up: we can reveal that the side is made up of players from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Georgia, Belarus, Estonia and Armenia. No prizes for guessing who the Armenian player might be.
GK) Mart Poom
The Big Estonian between the sticks. Fondly remembered by Derby fans. Image Source: FourFourTwo
LCB) Yuri Zhirkov
Starting off our back three is the former Chelsea defender - but Zhirkov should have played more in Europe's more reputable leagues. Wasted in Russia.
Image Source: YuriZhirkov.net
CB) Igors Stepanovs
The Latvian invincible.
Image Source: Zimbio
CB) Zurab Khizanishvili
Blackburn's favourite Georgian. Image Source: Futbol Grad
LM) Andrey Arshavin
No questions here. Arshavin is Russia's best ever player to appear in the Premier League. Image Source: Twitter
CM) Henrikh Mkhitaryan
The Armenian is capable of delivering so much more than he did in his first season. Giroud's was better. Image Source: Twitter
CDM) Alexey Smertin
Versatile. Image Source:Pulse.NG
CM) Alexander Hleb
Potentially one of the league's most underrated players -
Hleb was magical. Image Source: The National
RM) Andrei Kanchelskis
The only Soviet treble winner. Image Source: Futbolgrad
ST) Marian Pahars
The former Saints man who would undoubtedly soon be in Liverpool colours if playing in today's era.
Image Source: Alchetron
ST) Andriy Shevchenko
While his time at Chelsea was by no means comparable to Milan, the Ukrainian still deserves a spot in the XI. Image Source: Goal
SUB) Dmitri Kharine
Over 100 games for Chelsea (Before their Russian purchaser changed football). Image Source: Alchetron
SUB) Ragnar Klavan
A reasonable season for the defenders small price.
Image Source: Twitter
SUB) Georgi Kinkladze
Georgian maestro. Image Source: Geocities
SUB) Oleh Luhzny
Seven straight league titles with Kiev to a North London Invincible. Image Source: CNN
SUB) Temur Ketsbaia
A Georgian Geordie is pretty rare, but so is destroying an advertising board after scoring. Image Source: Vice
While a fairly decent side in terms of trophies won, judging from the sheer size of the former Soviet union, you can’t help but think that they probably could do a little bit better.
Of course, they’ve had some standout players in the Premier League, but how many players could you say can be considered amongst the elite? It could be considered slightly pedantic, but by comparison – the continent of South America is 5million km smaller – and has produced many more top players. The former Soviet union states need to play much more football.
Still, those that have been world-class have been fantastic to watch, Arsenal fans in particular will remember the heroics of the likes of Alexander Hleb and Andrey Arshavin, who simply by their massive amount of success, have become two of the most influential sporting figures in their respective countries.