16 Years Without Number 16 – Remembering Serhiy Perkhun

Before PFC CSKA Moscow’s recent outing against FC Rostov in the Premier League, the Red-Blue fans displayed a massive banner with the text: “16 years without number 16”. Alongside the banner, was a giant picture of goalkeeper Serhiy Perkhun, who played for the club in 2001. The actions were in honour of the Ukrainian born goalkeeper, who died 16 years ago of a brain hemorrhage after a head-to-head collision with an Anzhi Makhachkala player during a game in the Premier League. Although it’s a … [Read more...]

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...]

Interview with Maksym Kalynychenko, Part Two: The FNL, Spartak under Oleg Romantsev, and more.

Maksym Kalynychenko, who played for Spartak Moscow from 2000-2008 sat down with Alexey Spektrowski in collaboration with our friends over at ProSpartak. Here we present Part Two of the interview in English, where the pair discusses the state of the FNL and Maksym's experiences of traveling throughout Russia, Soviet Football including the work and life of Nikolai Starostin and Oleg Romantsev's dominant Spartak Moscow side in the 1990s. Make sure to read Part One first, … [Read more...]

Interview with Maksym Kalynychenko, Part One: Spartak’s Situation Today

Maksym Kalynychenko, who played for Spartak Moscow from 2000-2008 sat down with Alexey Spektrowski in collaboration with our friends over at ProSpartak. Here we present Part One of the interview in English, where the pair discusses the current situation in Spartak, the players, and Massimo Carrera. ***   The first questions, of course, will concern Spartak. What happened in the game against CSKA? Well... Everyone saw what happened. We lost. Losing a game in two minutes is bad, … [Read more...]

Akhmat Grozny – Three Name Changes, Two War’s and One Crazy Owner

Before this season we saw a change in names with the team of Grozny. The city which is located in the province of Chechnya. So what happened to Terek Grozny? Why is it now Akhmat Grozny? And how has the war and the destroyed city affect the city’s greatest football team? History of Chechnya To understand everything, we must start it all from the beginning. Chechnya was taken over by Russia as early as in the middle of the 19th century. It’s a province which possesses several large oil fields … [Read more...]

Teams that thrashed incumbent Soviet/Russian champions

After Zenit St. Petersburg soundly beat Spartak Moscow 5-1 last weekend, I did some research to look for other teams who managed to beat the reigning Soviet or Russian champions with three goals or more. Turns out, it was Zenit's third such win after 1958 (Dinamo Moscow) and 1971 (CSKA Moscow) and the 36th "champion-thrashing" overall. Spartak Moscow are now clean first on the overall list, having suffered through eight crushing defeats; they overtook Dinamo Moscow, who have seven such defeats, … [Read more...]

“I was a Soviet champion, too!”

Today, I'll treat you to an interesting list of mostly obscure players. How obscure, you might ask? Well, they played exactly one game in a season where their team won gold, and never won championships again. Some players became "champions-too", but later won other championships (either with their own team, or with another). These players didn't make the list. 1936 Spring, Dinamo Moscow Viktor Dubinin (1901-1984). 1 game (90 minutes), 0 goals. Became Dinamo's manager in 1937 after … [Read more...]

Valery Karpin and that infamous day in the summer of 1990

“When I arrived there, the team was… they had escaped relegation in the last match of the previous season. It was unthinkable what we had done in five years. It was Celta’s golden era…” - Valery Karpin (2015) Valery Karpin joined Celta de Vigo back in 1997, three years after landing in Spain to play for Real Sociedad. An excellent second season at San Sebastian with Javier Irureta’s Sociedad side worked as a stepping stone for a somewhat unconvincing one-year adventure at Valencia before … [Read more...]

Russia and the Cursed Group Stage

Come Saturday evening it was clear. After losing 2-1 at home in Kazan to Mexico, the group stage had once again been the last stop for Russia at an international tournament. The group stage is slowly turning into somewhat of a curse for Sbornaya, and not even the home field advantage could break this spell. In fact, since Russia participated for the first time in an international tournament under its own flag at the World Cup in 1994, it has only managed to advance from the group once, back … [Read more...]

Nikolai Sokolov – The Founder of Russian Goalkeeping

Lev Yashin is considered perhaps the best to ever play football, but even before him, the Soviet Union has had a long line of great goalkeepers. One of these is Nikolai Sokolov, who both Nikolai Starostin in Football Stars and Anatoly Akimov in The Goalkeeper and his Role in the Team name as the founder of the Soviet goalkeeping school, which later gave birth to Yashin, Rinat Dasaev and many others. Sokolov was born in Moscow on May 12, 1897. At this time, football wasn’t a sport for Russians … [Read more...]