Russia add Brazil goalkeeper Guilherme to friendlies squad

MOSCOW -- Brazil-born goalkeeper Guilherme has been called up to the Russia's national team.

Guilherme has played in Russia since 2007 with Lokomotiv Moscow and could become Russia's No. 2 keeper behind CSKA Moscow's Igor Akinfeev if he impresses in friendlies against Lithuania and France this month.

Besides Guilherme, Russia are also considering naturalising German-Ukrainian defensive midfielder Roman Neustaedter of Schalke and Brazilian right-back Mario Fernandes of CSKA.

The additions could strengthen a team who have recently lacked depth and rely heavily on ageing veterans, particularly in defence.

Russia play Lithuania in Moscow on March 26 and face France in Paris three days later.

Friday's squad for the friendlies also saw the return of Russia's record goal scorer, Alexander Kerzhakov.

Kerzhakov, 33, has not played for his country since June after falling out of favor at Zenit St. Petersburg, but a loan spell at Swiss team FC Zurich has revitalized his career.