A Mess Worth Making? – The Rise and Fall of Mordovia Saransk

In Russia as elsewhere in football, it is a reasonably rare thing to see a team emerge from obscurity, climb the league system and find itself dining at the top table of the national game. When it does happen, it is often thanks in no small part to a sudden influx of cash – Wigan, Hoffenheim, RB Leipzig – which history has shown does not always stick around. Even established clubs who catch the taste of success – Anzhi, Portsmouth, Deportivo – often find that their flirtations with glory come at … [Read more...]

Damien Le Tallec and the Madhouse in Saransk

Every season, hundreds of Russian football players go months without receiving their salaries. Part of the reason for this are the weak Players Unions, another the light punishments for not fulfilling contractual obligations. Last season alone, the players of Mordovia, Kuban and FC Rostov went months without being paid, something that clearly took its toll on the players as both Mordovia and Kuban were relegated. But how exactly does it affect a squad when they are not paid, and what … [Read more...]

Three Rounds Left – The fight to escape the RFPL drop

With three matches left to play, tension at the wrong end of the Russian Premier League has reached breaking point. If no team’s fate is sealed this mid-week, this coming weekend promises to be the most nerve wrenching affair with the bottom six all due to play one another. Five seasons back when the league underwent their restructuring to fall into line with the European season schedule (Autumn-Spring), the relegation playoffs were introduced to add an extra dimension to the domestic end of … [Read more...]

Mordovia’s Evolving Nightmare

Dalibor Stevanovič went from villain to hero last weekend, as his winning penalty to defeat the then-league leaders Rostov capped a remarkable few days for Mordovia Saransk. Prior to the match he was reported to have left the club's training sessions along with Serbian Marko Lomić in protest over unpaid wages, but after a dramatic intervention from the President of Saransk Region temporarily resolved the issue he was reinstated to the starting lineup. The issues are nothing new to Russian … [Read more...]

Reactions from RFPL Week 26

As something new on Russian Football News, we'll try to give you the most interesting quotes on the most important events of the Russian Football Premier-League. This week we focus on the games Lokomotiv - Spartak, Krasnodar - Anzhi and Mordovia - Rostov. Lokomotiv - Spartak Spartak emerged as 2-0 victors over Lokomotiv in the Moscow derby. Jan Durica turned Ivelin Popov’s low cross into his own net in the 43rd minute and Ze Luis doubled his side’s lead at the end of the game with a … [Read more...]

CSKA Back On Top After Mordovia Trashing

When Mordovia and CSKA last met in September, the score was 6-4 in favour of the 10-men Muscovites, who came back from 3-0 down. In Saturday’s match programme, defender Aleksandrs Cauna compared it to Liverpool’s Champions League final victory over AC Milan. This time there were no doubts about the outcome. An own goal and a Roman Eremenko strike put the hosts 2-0 up after 10 minutes.  Three goals in as many minutes from Aleksandr Golovin, Ahmed Musa and Sergei Ignashevich had CSKA five ahead … [Read more...]