English Premier League stars Ryan Giggs, Nemanja Vidic and Branislav Ivanovic are expected to join ex-Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o at a testimonial game for Russia defender Vadim Evseev next month, Evseev said Wednesday.
Evseev, 35, retired in December after a career spanning 16 years, including six seasons at Lokomotiv Moscow, whose ground will host the match between Russia and a Rest of the World side on May 14.
Even a potential English Premier League title decider for Manchester United the day before the testimonial may not prevent Giggs and Vidic from attending, he said.
“Vidic is injured, but he will come - not playing, of course, just watching. The only one whose arrival is in doubt is Ryan Giggs. He might be unable to get here on time because on May 13 Manchester United has an away game.”
Vidic played for Lokomotiv's capital city rivals Spartak, while Giggs played for Wales in a game against Russia where Evseev infamously shouted profanities into the camera after Russia's victory.
Evseev played with Ivanovic at Lokomotiv in 2006, but said he feared the Serbian defender would be ruled out of the testimonial after Ivanovic’s Chelsea team beat Barcelona on Tuesday to reach the Champions League final, played May 19.
Ivanovic’s poor disciplinary record could yet mean he comes to Moscow, Evseev told Russia’s Radio Zenit radio station.
“When Chelsea qualified for the Champions League final, I thought Branislav Ivanovic would not be available. However, he turned out to be suspended for the final for getting too many yellow cards. So I guess nothing will prevent him.”
Anzhi striker and triple Champions League winner Samuel Eto’o will play for the Rest of the World, Evseev added.
Evseev’s former Lokomotiv coach Yuri Syomin will head the Russian team, while former Russia coach Grigory Yartsev, who selected Evseev for some of his 20 international appearances, has been promoted to Rest of the World coach.