Introducing teams, men: Russia
- The Russians have been a powerhouse until 2004 but then a sudden decline started and they are still to return to their once admired level in the men’s game. As Soviet Union, they debuted in 1954, finishing 5th, next came a great run between 1958 and 1991, when they missed the podium only twice (1977, 1989) in 12 editions. They captured the title in 1966, 1970, 1983, 1985 and 1987, adding silver in 1962, 1974, 1981 and bronze in 1958 and 1991.
- After the end of the Soviet era, as Russia, they could earn a medal only once, in 1997 (a bronze), they came 4th in 2003, 5th in 1999 and 2001, 6th in 1995, 7th in 1993. After the 2004 Olympics they fell back, finished 9th in 2006, 10th in 2008, 11th in 2010 and even failed to qualify for 2012. Returned to the European stage in 2014 but could only beat Georgia and landed on the 11th place. In Belgrade 2016, they were better, made the quarters and finished 8th and did one better two years ago in Barcelona.
- At the world stage there are a couple of fine results from the glorious past: Olympic titles form 1972 and 1980, silver medals from 1960, 1968, 2000 and bronzes from 1956, 1964, 1988, 1992 and 2004. Until that year they missed the Olympic podium only in 1952, 1976 and 1996, but they could not even qualify for the last three editions (2008, 2012, 2016).
- At the Worlds they were victorious in 1975 and in 1982, got a silver (1973) and a bronze (1986). As Russia they could clinch two more bronzes (1994, 2001), plus a double gold in the 2002, winning the World League and the World Cup. Since 2004 the Russians couldn’t get close to the podium, they even missed the cuts for the 2009, 2011 and 2013 World Championships. In 2015 they got a spot as the hosts but finished 14th. In 2017 they managed to qualify and even made the quarters to finish 8th but missed the 2019 edition once more.
- Historical summary for Russia (incl. USSR matches): in 182 games they had 104 wins, 22 draws and 56 losses. Their goal difference: 1528-1679.