Preview Rostov vs Manchester United: What The Red Devils Can Expect

Manchester United may be favourites to lift the Europa League come the end of the season but Jose Mourinho is taking nothing for granted against Rostov – and rightly so. Reacting in the immediate aftermath of the draw, the Special One described the tie as bad “in every aspect”. "They have a very good Champions League campaign, they beat Ajax and Anderlecht in playoffs. And in the group phase, a difficult group with Bayern and Atletico, they managed good results against them." The … [Read more...]

RFN Top 50 2016: 50-36

As 2016 has turned into 2017, it is time for an annual tradition on The RFN Top 50. We rank the 50 best players in the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) in 2016, and we start with the players ranked 50-36 (movement compared to last year's ranking is shown in brackets).  You can find last year's RFN Top 50 right here: 50: Alex Song, Midfielder, Rubin (NEW ENTRY) Plenty chuckled when Rubin unveiled the signing of Song on social media, with the Cameroonian … [Read more...]

The Night CSKA Moscow put Barcelona and Pep Guardiola in Camp Nou

CSKA Moscow is not a club you would associate with fairytales. Soviet Top League and Russian Premier League champions a combined 13 times, the early 2000s saw CSKA emerge as a dominant force in Russian football, capped off by success in the 2005 UEFA Cup – but it wasn’t always like this. Prior to the significant investment of Evgeniy Giner and Roman Abramovich-owned firms like Sibneft and Aeroflot, CSKA Moscow was an altogether different club. READ MORE: Russian Club Owners: Evgeniy … [Read more...]

Kerzhakov Eyeing Top Job at Zenit St. Petersburg

Russia's greatest goal scorer Aleksandr Kerzhakov has ambitions to one day become the manager of Zenit St. Petersburg, according to a leading club official. Speaking in an exclusive interview with news agency TASS, Zenit general director Maxim Mitrofanov revealed Kerzhakov’s desire to one day take the reins of the St. Petersburg club. Speaking on the topic of what former greats like Andrei Arshavin and Kerzhakov’s next steps could be, Mitrofanov told TASS: "Kerzhakov, unlike Arshavin, … [Read more...]

Ex-Lokomotiv Striker Felipe Caicedo Relishing Russia Return

Felipe Caicedo is relishing the prospect of making a return to Russia with Ecuador at the 2018 World Cup. The 27-year-old spent just over two seasons with Lokomotiv Moscow, scoring 15 goals in 63 games for the Railroaders. After joining Lokomotiv from Spanish side Levante in 2011, Caicedo started his stint with the Railroaders well. The Ecuadorian striker scored crucial goals against the likes of Zenit, CSKA and Anzhi in the league, while he also found the back of the net twice in the … [Read more...]

Lombaerts Needs to Look Beyond Russia and Zenit St. Petersburg

Already out of the Champions League and unlikely to return next season Lombaerts needs to choose his next move carefully. As the final whistle blew on Zenit St Petersburg's 2-1 Champions League defeat to Benfica, Nicolas Lombaerts was probably left wondering what could have been. Zenit and Lombaerts had been near-faultess in the group phase, picking up five wins in their first five games – as well as two clean sheets – to top their pool with a game to spare. Champions League glory and a … [Read more...]

David Bentley: What Happened to ‘the Next Beckham’ in Russia?

David Bentley remains the first and only Englishman to ever play in the Russian Premier League with FC Rostov, but what went wrong for the man dubbed 'the new David Beckham'? Back in 2012, when David Beckham was preparing to wave goodbye to Major League soccer, the man once described as his “Beckham's natural heir” was heading somewhere entirely different: Russia. David Bentley probably never imagined, in his wildest dreams, that he would become the first Englishman to play in the Russian … [Read more...]

Luke Wilkshire: The man from Down Under is on the up with Terek Grozny

  It’s been over a decade since Terek Grozny last experienced European football – a first round UEFA Cup defeat to Basel – but, some 11 seasons on, the Chechens are starting to dream again. Two points off that all-important fourth place and still riding high after an imperious 4-1 victory over Zenit St Petersburg, Terek are on course for their best ever finish in the Russian Premier League. So when the news broke that the club had completed the free signing of a 34-year-old … [Read more...]

From Arshavin to Pogrebnyak: How the Russia’s best strikers fared in the English Premier League

It’s fair to say that Dynamo Moscow’s Aleksandr Kokorin stands at something of a crossroads in his career. Far from a regular goal scorer or starter for Dynamo, despite flashes of brilliance, the emerging target man has nevertheless been linked with a surprise move to the Premier League this January. With Arsenal reportedly among the parties supposedly interested in Kokorin, the 24-year-old could be facing a potentially career defining decision. But before he makes up his mind just yet, … [Read more...]

Why Kerzhakov could be left out in the cold for Zenit and Russia in 2016

When Aleksander Kerzhakov scored in Russia’s 4-2 win over Belarus last summer, he could never have predicted that it would prove to be his last goal for club or country. But after returning to Zenit St Petersburg, Russia’s all-time top scorer was hit with the news: Andre Villas-Boas no long saw him as part of his first team plans. In and out of the team over the previous campaign and rarely seeing eye-to-eye with AVB, Kerzhakov was still shocked, taking to Instagram to express his surprise … [Read more...]