VVS MVO Moscow, Vasily Stalin’s toy

VVS MVO Moscow is not a club name that many will recognize, and the acronym doesn’t reveal much about the club either. Nevertheless, it is a club with a short but interesting history. VVS MVO Moscow, a sports society VVS MVO Moscow was a sports club based in Moscow. The name was short for Voenno Vozdushnye Sily Moskovskogo Voïennogo Okrouga (Военно-воздушные Силы Московского военного округа), which means 'Club of the Air Force of the Military Region of Moscow'. It was founded in 1944 on … [Read more...]

Luch-Energiya Vladivostok – The Eastern Outpost of Russian Football

After writing about Baltika Kalingrad, who are situated in the far western reaches of Russia in my previous piece, I felt it was only fair to travel 10,000 kilometres to the far eastern corner of the Russian Federation to balance this. There we find the city of Vladivostok, also known as Russia's Gateway to the East. READ MORE: Baltika Kaliningrad - The Western Outpost of Russian Football Vladivostok is the capital and administrative centre of Primorski Krai. The city is situated on the … [Read more...]

The Russian Mafia in World Football

Last season, RFN reported about the alleged involvement of Russian gangsters money laundering through a Portuguese second division side. Quite rightly, the European football establishment was appalled. However, this is not the first and certainly not the most high profile involvement of Russian bad guys in European football. In his new book; Thief In Law, a guide to Russian prison tattoos and Russian-speaking organised crime gangs, Mark Bullen gives us a rundown of how the Russian Federation … [Read more...]

The Last Time They Met: Slovakia – Russia (2011)

Russia will look to build on Vasily Berezutski’s last-gasp equaliser against England when they face Slovakia in Lille. Slovakia, following their opening game loss to Wales, need to win but it does not bode well for them – if recent head-to-head records are anything to go by. The two teams last played on 26th May 2014, before the World Cup in Brazil, in St Petersburg and Russia won the friendly 1-0. Aleksandr Kerzhakov scored the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute to give victory to … [Read more...]

Sbornaya’s Golden Generation and the 1960 European Nations Cup

Igor Netto, Valentin Ivanov, Viktor Ponedelnik and Lev Yashin. The ‘brilliant quartet’ who emphatically led the Soviet Union to the inaugural European Nations’ Cup trophy. Earned after 120 minutes of attrition against a stubborn Yugoslavia side, they were eventually victorious in the final, winning 2-1 through goals from Slava Metreveli and Ponedelnik. The Golden Generation Netto was an accomplished leader with excellent technical ability, much of which he attributed to the style of … [Read more...]

The Never Ending Story About Lokomotiv and Lassana Diarra

The biggest scandal involving Lokomotiv Moscow in recent years has turned out to be hugely profitable for the Russian club as on May 28th 2016, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that French midfielder Lassana Diarra had to pay a fine of €10m to Lokomotiv for having breached his contract when he left the red-greens in 2014. Considering Loko's current financial state, this could be more than just great news. However, with deeper analysis, it appears that nothing turned out like … [Read more...]

Aleksey Smertin – From Siberia to Chelsea and Back Again

Born in 1975, Aleksey Smertin is regarded as one of the most recognisable Russian footballers having played for both Lokomotiv and Dinamo Moscow in Russia, as well as spells abroad with Bordeaux and Chelsea. He is now a Deputy Executive Director for Dinamo Moscow. Father figure Smertin was born in Barnaul, Southern Siberia. Like many, his dream was being a footballer. But unlike a lot of aspiring footballers, it was his Dad that was the focal force in making Aleksey, and his brother … [Read more...]

Football in USSR During the Great Patriotic War

On May 9, the whole of Russia commemorated the victory against Nazi Germany in World War II, or the Great Patriotic War as it was also known in the Soviet Union. The day was celebrated with a big military parade in Red Square, and all over the country, in honour of the veterans and 26 million people who died during the war. During the war, it was difficult to imagine people being entertained by football matches, but despite the human sacrifice, the need for fighting and working in factories, … [Read more...]

The Tale of Michael Laudrup and Spartak

The past couple of seasons have seen an influx of Nordic and Scandinavian talent moving to Russian clubs. The majority of the players have been Swedish with Rasmus Elm, Kim Kallström and Pontus Wernbloom being some of the biggest names, but Iceland have also been represented by Solvi Ottesen and Ragnar Sigurdsson while Norwegian Stefan Strandberg has followed in the footsteps of Erik Hagen who played for Zenit between 2005 and 2008. Last but not least, Finland is currently represented by CSKA … [Read more...]

Emery, Laudrup & Karpin – Ten Coaches Who Failed at Spartak

Under the control of legendary Russian head coach Oleg Romantsev, Spartak Moscow won nine Russian championships as well as four Russian cups between 1992 and 2003. Furthermore, they became the first, and only, Russian team to win all six of their Champions League group stage games, when they won Group H ahead of Rosenborg, Legia Warszawa and Blackburn in 1995/96. If that wasn’t enough, the Red-Whites also reached three European semifinals; the 1990/1991 European Cup, the 1992/1993 Cup … [Read more...]