Andrei Arshavin scored 17 times in 75 appearances for the Russian senior team before he retired from the international scene in 2012. He spent a decade with the team having made his debut on May 17, 2002. Andrei Arshavin was overlooked for the first two major tournaments on the back of his debut for the Russian senior team. He misses out on both the 2002 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2004 tournaments.
Andrei Arshavin was given more responsibilities in the Russian senior team when Dutchman GuusHiddink became the Russian senior team manager. He captained the team for the first time during the Euro 2008 qualifier with Estonia. He was confirmed as team captain on June 11, 2009.
At Euro 2008, Arshavin emerged as one of the best players at the tournament despite missing the first two games due to suspension. His importance to the team was highlighted by him being included in the 23-man squad despite his absence for the first two group games. He made a return with a goal and an assist against Sweden in the final group fixture.
Russia progressed to the last eight at Euro 2008 thanks to the influence of Arshavin during the victory over Sweden during the aforementioned final group fixture. He scored one and provided an assist to propel Russia to a 3-1 extra time win over the Netherlands in the last eight. In the semifinals, Andrei Arshavin could not produce his magic as eventual champions Spain knocked out his Russia side via a 3-0 scoreline.
Arshavin and Russia failed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa, while he played in all the three group games as Russia were eliminated at the group stage of the Euro 2012 tournament, his final major tournament for the Russian senior team.