One only has to look back at Euro 2008, when they stormed to the semi-finals, only falling to the might of eventual winners Spain.
And while the Russians failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, they rebounded with a strong showing in Euro 2012 qualifying, racking up seven wins in ten games to finish top of Group B.
More impressive was how they held off the challenge of the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia, having initially been engaged in a three-way battle for top spot. And with more improvement expected, next summer could just be when Russia reach peak form.
World ranking (as of November 2011): 13
Coach: Dick Advocaat
Advocaat is no stranger to international management, having coached Holland (twice), the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Belgium.
So it should come as no surprise that Russia fans are quietly optimistic that Advocaat has the necessary nous to inspire his men in Poland and Ukraine next summer.
The only previous time Advocaat coached at an European Championship, he led Holland to the semi-finals in 1994. He could go one better by repeating that feat with the unheralded Sbornaya.
Can they win it?
Despite having a squad mostly made up of local-based players, Advocaat's charges are shaping up as a formidable outfit that will be tough to break down.
In defence, CSKA Moscow trio Vasili Berezutskiy, Sergei Ignashevich and Aleksei Berezutskiy share 176 caps between them, while former Chelsea man Yuri Zhirkov provides plenty of drive when deployed at left-back.
In midfield, Igor Semshov and Pavel Mamaev do an excellent job of winning possession, allowing the talented Alan Dzagoev to carve out openings.
And up front, Andrei Arshavin, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Pavel Pogrebnyak's differing styles of play mean Advocaat will have no problems coming up with alternative solutions should his starting eleven fail to fire.
However, Russia's prospects at Euro 2012 could just depend on how is standing between the sticks next summer. When fit, CSKA captain Igor Akinfeev is clearly Advocaat's first-choice goalkeeper, but he is yet to play a game this season due to injuries.
In his absence, Vyacheslav Malafeev has held the fort impressively, but the Zenit St Petersburg veteran lacks the agility and shot-stopping ability of Akinfeev. Nonetheless, Advocaat is known to be extremely loyal to his players, and choosing between both keepers could prove decisive to whether Russia are able to mount a serious charge next summer.
Whatever side Advocaat opts to go for at Euro 2012, don't be surprised if they pull off a couple of upsets along the way.