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Peru's World Cup return will cap Jefferson Farfan's remarkable comeback

Less than two years ago, Jefferson Farfan's career seemed to be finished. The Peru international left the United Arab Emirates in October 2016, having played just 12 matches for Al Jazira during extremely unhappy spell that was interrupted by numerous injuries.

He hadn't featured for the national team for a year at the time, and experienced problems finding a new club at the age of 32. Farfan was forced to train alone for three long months, trying to keep fit and waiting for an unlikely offer.


Russia's four World Cup players to watch: Golovin, Zobnin, Kuzyaev, Miranchuk

As the host nation, all eyes will be on Russia. The home side at the World Cup has never lost an opening match, so can Cherchesov's men keep the tradition going?
Martin Ainstein undergoes an unforgettable experience in Moscow as he visits the Russian Cosmonaut Training Center during his tour of World Cup host cities.

World Cup hosts Russia are approaching the tournament in the wake of some truly shambolic preparations.

Fans are pessimistic, and there is a fear that Stanislav Cherchesov's side will join South Africa and become the second World Cup hosts to fail to qualify from their group. Not everything is bleak though. While defence is their most problematic area, Cherchesov has numerous rising midfielders at his disposal.

Here are four youngsters who could save Russia this summer.

1. Aleksandr Golovin, CSKA...

Lokomotiv, CSKA and Zenit lead Russia's challenge in Europa League

Russian clubs are usually expected to experience difficulties in Europe in February after the long winter break, but this season the script has been totally different. All four representatives won their respective fixtures in the return leg of the Europa League round of 32.

For Spartak Moscow, beating Athletic Bilbao 2-1 away wasn't enough, as they lost 3-1 in the first leg and went out 4-3 on aggregate, but Lokomotiv Moscow, CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg all advanced.

The last Russian triumph...