Schalke defender closes in on Russian citizenship

© Ina Fassbender
Schalke 04 FC defender Roman Neustaedter has confirmed he will officially become a Russian citizen in the next few days.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday to grant citizenship to the 28-year-old.

Neustaedter has been training with the national team ahead of the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France.

Born in 1988 in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, Neustaedter moved with his family to live in Germany in the early 1990s.

The son of famous Soviet footballer and coach Pyotr Neustaedter, he previously played for Mainz and Borussia Moenchengladbach before joining Schalke in 2012.

© Ina Fassbender

He has played twice for the German national team, but both were friendlies, leaving him clear to play for Russia.

Neustaedter has made 181 Bundesliga appearances, scoring eight goals.

Russia kick-off their Euro 2016 campaign against England on June 11. Four days later they face Slovakia, before completing their Group B fixtures against Wales on June 20.

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