Cheering fans descended on Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Thursday to welcome home Russia's triumphant football team. Supporters congratulated the players for defying the odds and qualifying for the Euro-2008 finals.
After collapsing against Israel on Saturday, Gus Hiddink's men seemed down and out. But on Wednesday night they came back from the dead.
They capitalised on England's failure to secure any points against Croatia in London. As expected, they beat minnows Andorra - but only by a single goal. The significant result came from England as the home side lost 3-2 to Croatia at Wembley Stadium.
For the first time since 1984 England misses out and Russia make it through to next year's finals in Switzerland and Austria.
More than a hundred fans travelled to Sheremetyevo to give the Russian players a warm reception. The players, on the other hand, were grateful to the fans and their Croatian counterparts.
"From now on all planes from Croatia should land at Sheremetyevo for free. We are very grateful to our fans. I think few people believed in us, but we are all grateful to those that did. We are grateful to everyone. We'll see you next year," skipper Andrey Arshavin said. ( RT )