Russian ambassadors from baku cropped for site
European Games Baku 2015
12 May 2015

Russian stars become Baku 2015 ambassadors

Andrey Bukhlitskiy, Ilya Leonov and Anton Shkarin of Russia’s National Selection have been announced as representatives for the European Games

Russia’s beach soccer stars Andrey Bukhlitskiy, Ilya Leonov and Anton Shkarin have today been announced by Baku 2015 as Athlete Ambassadors for this summer’s inaugural European Games. Russia is the reigning FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup champion, having won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2013. 2011 marked the first time the Russians had made the World Cup finals, and their national side surprised reigning champion Brazil to lift the trophy, with captain Ilya Leonov and Andrey Bukhlitsky picking up the awards for MVP and best goalkeeper, respectively. In addition to their World Cup glory, the Russians have also won the past two Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinals, defeating fellow Baku 2015 participants Portugal and Spain in 2013 and 2014.


Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: “The Russian beach soccer team has displayed incredible dedication and teamwork to reach the top of their sport, and these are attributes that make them ideal ambassadors for the first ever European Games. We look forward to seeing Andrey, Ilya and Anton compete for the inaugural European Games title in June.”


Baku 2015 Athlete Ambassadors will represent their sports and be featured in campaigns aimed at promoting the games and their sports. Leonov said, “We are very proud to be Athlete Ambassadors and to represent our country and the sport of beach soccer at the first European Games. We will do our best to raise the profile of the Games and the sport around the world, and to also create history and become the first ever European Games champion in beach soccer.”


Bukhlitskiy, Leonov and Shkarin will join players from all over Europe in an array of sports as Baku 2015 international Athlete Ambassadors.The Baku 2015 beach soccer competition starts on 24 June at the Beach Arena, and 98 athletes are expected to compete for the gold medal. There will be eight teams participating, the top six teams from the European Beach Soccer League Division A from 2014 as well as the top Division B side, and of course the hosts Azerbaijan. 

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