Reforming the Trans-Siberian Football League

The Football National League is the biggest football league in the world according to geographic area, covering over 4,500 miles as-the-crow-flies and even crosses eight time zones. Due to the size of the league and other problems synonymous with Russian football such as fiscal instability, political corruption and systemic mismanagement, many clubs - as previously explored - do not face a race to thrive, but a battle to survive. READ PART ONE: Problems with the Trans-Siberian Football … [Read more...]

Krasnodar’s Youth Academy Bearing Its First Fruits

Just nine years ago, FC Krasnodar was formed. Founded and owned by billionaire businessman Sergey Galitsky, the intentions were not to go gung-ho with their money like the then free-spending Anzhi Makhachkala but to build from the bottom. This included the installation of a youth academy, which would recruit boys of all ages, with the intention that one day, half of the first team would be graduates of the school, and so the Krasnodar Academy was born. The Krasnodar Academy is situated next … [Read more...]

RFPL 2017/2018 – Who Has the Best Kit?

SKA-Khabarovsk Premier Liga newcomers, like some other teams, decided not to bother and use last year's kits. They probably figured that nobody saw it last season anyway, as the coverage of the FNL is almost criminally low. The kit itself is nothing special, but there is nothing to criticize either. I personally like their massive badge, which looks appropriate on this empty T-shirt. FC Tosno The club from the Leningrad Oblast, founded in 2013, still hasn't built its own identity. … [Read more...]

Season Preview: FC Krasnodar

Krasnodar have qualified for the Europa League three years in a row now and will be aiming to do so again in Igor Shalimov’s first full season in charge of the Bulls. This may look harder than ever with the disappointing performances of the team last season both in Europe and domestically, questions marks over the future of star player Fyodor Smolov and the emergence of Rubin Kazan and Akhmat Grozny as genuine contenders for European qualification. This summer has been somewhat of a … [Read more...]

Fyodor Smolov – Russia’s Brightest Star

Fyodor Smolov’s rise to stardom has been anything but conventional. His unique resume includes multiple unsuccessful loan spells, as well as a season spent on the edge of Siberia, and yet today the striker stands as the back-to-back scoring champion of the Russian Football Premier League, and arguably Russia’s brightest star, something he also proved at the recently finished Confederations Cup. While he was always recognized as having vast potential, it took Smolov more time than most to fulfill … [Read more...]

The importance of the Europa League and Russia’s standing in European Football

It goes against reason to argue that Russia deserves another Champions League spot given we’re coming off the back of one of their most dismal tournament performances to date, with both Premier League representatives exiting in the group stage prior to the winter break. However, despite their shortcomings in UEFA’s premier competition, the Russian Football Premier League is primed to overtake the Portuguese Primiera Liga in becoming Europe’s 6th best league and clinch another direct ticket to … [Read more...]

RFPL Winter Transfer Window – Team by Team Summary Part 1

The Russian transfer window closed at the end of February, and as we have finally gathered the full overview over a long and hectic winter, it is time to evaluate how the 16 Russian Football Premier League clubs did in the transfer market. In the span of three articles, which will be published in the following days, we'll evaluate all the clubs and grade their dealings. Amkar Perm Amkar started the window in the worst possible fashion, losing Russian prospects Aleksandr Selikhov and Georgy … [Read more...]

Russian Reactions to the Europa League Games and Draw

Rostov - Sparta Prague (5-1 on agg) Rostov will face Manchester United in the Round of 16 of the Europa League after a comfortable aggregate victory over Sparta Prague. A resounding 4-0 victory in Russia meant that only a major collapse in Prague would prevent Ivan Daniliants’ side from progressing. Dmitriy Poloz fired Rostov ahead but the 10-man hosts equalised seven minutes from time via former CSKA Moscow defender Vyacheslav Karavaev. Head coach Daniliants was pleased by his side’s … [Read more...]

Preview: Fenerbahce – FC Krasnodar

Fenerbahce (0) - (1) Krasnodar, Wednesday 5pm GMT, Istanbul First Leg Krasnodar shook off winter break rustiness to take a slender advantage back to Turkey thanks to debutant Viktor Claesson’s diving header just three minutes into the game in Russia last week. Fenerbahce offered very little threat going forwards as they failed to score a crucial away goal which may prove to be decisive. meanwhile, Cristian Ramírez was a revelation on his debut offering as much threat going forwards as … [Read more...]

Krasnodar – Fenerbahce Preview: A Chance for the New Boys to Shine

After a long winter break that saw some key business done for FC Krasnodar, they resume competitive action against Turkish giants Fenerbahçe on Thursday night, looking to improve on last season’s capitulation to Sparta Prague at the same stage. Russian clubs traditionally perform poorly in the knockout stages of continental competition, with many blaming the extended lack of match fitness, but with qualification for next year’s Europa League in the balance, Igor Shalimov’s side will be desperate … [Read more...]