Most Decorated Players of Soviet and Russian League Football

After a previous article exploring the "Soviet Champions, too" (players who played just one game in a season in which their team won the league), it's only logical to show the polar opposite: The most decorated players of Soviet and Russian football. READ MORE: "I was a Soviet Champion, too!" For this, I devised a numerical formula. Each trophy is worth a specific amount of points (league title - 50, European cup - 40, Soviet/Russian cup - 25, European Supercup - 10, Russian Supercup - 5). … [Read more...]

Viktor Fayzulin’s Trip Through Injury Hell

80 minutes into the game against Amkar Perm on September 20, 2015, Viktor Fayzulin had to leave the pitch with an injury. The now 31-year-old midfielder was clearly in pain and was replaced by Artur Yusupov. The injury was a hard blow for Fayzulin, who had only just recovered from a long-term injury, but assistant coach Sergey Semak was optimistic after the game, stating that Fayzulin “was fine”. Shortly after, Leonid Slutsky even called him up for a game with the national team, proving that … [Read more...]

Top 10 Foreign Players in the RPL

The Russian league has a vast amount of foreign talent, but these are my Top 10 international stars. (10) Joaozinho. The little Brazilian is a massive part of the reason FC Krasnodar have been able to stave off relegation and cement their place as a mid table side. Along with fellow Brazilian Wanderson and now Ari, they form a potent partnership for Krasnodar. And while Joaozinho's scoring record on paper doesn't make look like one of the best players on the team, his on the field … [Read more...]

Swedish Exports – not just Volvo, IKEA & ABBA

What links CSKA's midfield linchpin Pontus Wernbloom & last season’s joint top RPL goalscorer Wanderson? The answer is the Swedish city of Gothenburg. Both of these impressive player's careers really took off whilst playing in Sweden's second city and they are not the only current RPL players with a Swedish footballing background. Here I will run down some ex-Allsvenskan (Sweden's premier league) players plying their trade in the RPL and put forward some current Swedish based talents who … [Read more...]

Foreigners: Krylia Sovetov Samara

Samara is a football-addicted city with huge traditions. I'll say just one thing - Krylya are the only provincial team that have never been relegated from the Russian Championship. And the third place in 2004, and the highest attendance in Eastern Europe at the Metallurg stadium says it all. But the times are changing, and Krylya are in their usual place again, fighting relegation playoffs. But the management has been original, finding players in exotic leagues. Let's run through … [Read more...]

1st Annual RFN “RPL First 11”

Our experts voted (with help from our twitter followers) for our Team of the Year.   We had no position requirements- experts could choose any formation they wanted.  All but one went with a 4-4-2, so that is what our team is.  CSKA Moscow, league Champions dominated our First 11. However the extent is incredibly- 7 out of the 11 are from the Champions, even though no voter chose over five CSKA representatives. This is perhaps a testament to CSKA's balance The back-line vote was by a … [Read more...]

Foreigners: Mordovia Saransk

Saransk is an unfortunate town. The smallest city  represented in Premier League, and despite the fact that Mordovia is a republic, the city is not important. The importance of sport there was best seen in the first home matches held in Saransk. So it was predictable that no serious foreign players could move there, no matter, with Scherbachenko or with Munteanu. Despite this, there's a number of foreigners (here they are called "legioneers"). Remark: I wouldn't count midfielder Pavel … [Read more...]

Foreigners: Alania Vladikavkaz

I've always wanted to write something about foreign players in RPL teams. How important are they to the teams they represent, whether the clubs really need them and are there really too many foreigners in the league? So, there will be a lot of numbers and statistics, but I hope to paint a picture of the number of foreigners per team: This will be an ongoing series. Let's start from the bottom, with the clubs whose chances to stay in the league are very low. 16th place: Alania … [Read more...]

Premier League Wrap: Week 26

Week 26 in the Premier League only added more vigor and intrigue to the title chase and a cluttered Europa League field. Building on Saturday's results - Dinamo, Terek and Lokomotiv each dispatched lower-table opponents - Sunday's matches saw Spartak close the gap on 3rd-place Anzhi, while Rubin kept Zenit in the hunt for 1st with a clinical 2-0 home win over CSKA. But it was Krasnodar, the southern capital of Russian football, that played host to the most thrilling match of the weekend and … [Read more...]