Nikita Simonyan Biography: Football – Is It Just a Game? (Part Three)

Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan (1926-  ) is the current vice president of the Russian Football Union, and one of the most noteworthy figures in Russian and Soviet football. Between 1949 and 1959 he became the highest scoring player ever for Spartak Moscow, with whom he won four Soviet championships, and he was also one of the stars on the Soviet national team that won the 1956 Olympics and finished fourth at the 1958 World Cup.  He later went into coaching and he won three Soviet championships … [Read more...]

Nikita Simonyan Biography: Football – Is It Just a Game? (Part Two)

Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan (1926-  ) is the current vice president of the Russian Football Union, and one of the most noteworthy figures in Russian and Soviet football. Between 1949 and 1959 he became the highest scoring player ever for Spartak Moscow, with whom he won four Soviet championships, and he was also one of the stars on the Soviet national team that won the 1956 Olympics and finished fourth at the 1958 World Cup.  He later went into coaching and he won three Soviet championships … [Read more...]

The Englishmen who brought football to Russia

On March 8, 1898, Ivan Shisihkin, a Russian painter famous for his realistic paintings of landscapes died in St. Petersburg. On the same day, the first ever official football game was played on Russian soil at the first military academy parade ground on Vasilievsky Island of St. Petersburg. The game stood between teams consisting of both Russian and English players. In the years before the game, St. Petersburg - at the time the capital of the Russian Empire - had experienced an influx of … [Read more...]

Nikita Simonyan Biography: Football – Is It Just a Game? (Part One)

Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan (1926-  ) is the current vice president of the Russian Football Union, and one of the most noteworthy figures in Russian and Soviet football. Between 1949 and 1959 he became the highest scoring player ever for Spartak Moscow, with whom he won four Soviet championships, and he was also one of the stars on the Soviet national team that won the 1956 Olympics and finished fourth at the 1958 World Cup.  He later went into coaching and he won three Soviet championships … [Read more...]

Nikita Simonyan Biography: Football – Is It Just a Game? (Introduction)

Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan (1926-  ) is the current vice president of the Russian Football Union, and one of the most noteworthy figures in Russian and Soviet football. Between 1949 and 1959 he became the highest scoring player ever for Spartak Moscow, with whom he won four Soviet championships, and he was also one of the stars on the Soviet national team that won the 1956 Olympics and finished fourth at the 1958 World Cup.  He later went into coaching and he won three Soviet championships … [Read more...]

Valery Gazzaev – The Ossetian Polymath

A polymath isn’t usually a word you use to describe a person associated with football, but in Valery Gazzaev’s case, an exception can definitely be made. Gazzaev scored more than a 100 goals as a player, made history as a manager, is often seen talking about reforms in Russian football and is a member of the Duma. Wherever the man goes, he makes an impact, which makes him one of the most revered figures in Russian football. Gazzaev was born in the Ossetian city of Ordzhonikidze (now … [Read more...]

The tumultuous history of the Soviet League

The Soviet football championship is probably unique in the variety of formulas used in the league. After recent comments by Leonid Fedun, who recently discussed league reform in-depth and offered a two-stage league formula similar to Belgium, I decided to go into the depths of history and show the various quirks of the Soviet football officials. There actually were tournaments called "Soviet championships" before 1936, but they were contested by town and city teams rather than clubs (clubs … [Read more...]

1994 World Cup: The Letter of Fourteeners Mutiny

The 1994 World Cup is famous for two things; being the first held outside of Europe and South America, and Diana Ross’ goal-exploding penalty – of which she missed by some distance - at the opening ceremony. The tournament is without a general wonder goal such as James Rodriguez’ in Brazil, or a pivotal moment like Paul Gascoigne’s yellow card at Italia ‘90, however, highly emotional moments have burned into our retina’s today; Diego Maradona’s lung-bursting roar against Greece and subsequent … [Read more...]

Reminiscing 2005: CSKA Moscow’s Golden Year

Ever since its inception in 1911, CSKA Moscow has seen everything. From being forced to withdraw from the league in 1952, to winning the last ever Soviet championship in 1991. However there has undoubtedly never been a year as special in the club’s history as 2005, when the Red-Blues became the first and only Russian club to win the treble. Fans remember Yuri Zhirkov’s goal to put the horses, as the club is known, ahead in the UEFA Cup Final in Lisbon like it was yesterday, for it is probably … [Read more...]

Egor Titov: Enigmatic Footballer, Esoteric History

Egor Titov is a Spartak Moscow legend, spending thirteen years at the club during and after the great Oleg Romantsev's reign. As such, his opinion cast's a heavy shadow in the corridors of Tarasovka. His post-playing career has been spent as the assistant to fellow Spartak legend Dimitri Alenichev at both the Red-Whites and now Enisei Krasnoyarsk, currently atop the FNL and looking strong contenders for promotion to the Premier League. Titov is most likely largely unheard of too many … [Read more...]