Diminutive forward Andrei Arshavin made his bow for the Russian senior team on May 17, 2002, but it was too late for him to force his way into the squad for the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament in Japan and South Korea. Andrei Arshavin was not a part of the 23-man Russia squad at the tournament which was won by Brazil after beating Germany 2-0 in the final. The Brazilians won a record fifth World Cup title at the tournament and that was their last World Cup win till date.
Andrei Arshavin registered his first goal for the Russian senior team during the international friendly clash with Romania on February 13, 2003. Since netting against the Romanians, Arshavin managed to score or provide am assist at every tournament he played in the colours of the Russian senior team.
Arshavin worethe captain's armband for the Russian senior team for the first time during the Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia. He would then be made the permanent captain for the Russian senior team by then manager GuusHiddink. Dutchman Hiddink was a big fan of Arshavin and he made him skipper on June 11, 2009.
Hiddink had earlier named Andrei Arshavin as part of this 23-man Russia squad to the Euro 2008 tournament despite the fact that he was suspended for the first two group games. Arshavin made his return from injury to play a big part as Russia reached the semifinals before they were beaten by eventual winners Spain.