Soviet’s Last Success: The 1988 European Championship

  In the summer of 1988, Soviet football experienced its last great moment, when the Sbornaya reached the final of the European Championship. A few years later, the union would fall apart, but in 1988 the team was among the football elite. The Soviet Union had failed to qualify for every European Championships as far back as 1972, but under the guidance of head coach Valery Lobanovsky, they came back on track. In the 1986 World Cup, after a great performance in the group stage, … [Read more...]

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...]

Cherchesov’s Old Grudges Hinders Russia’s Chances at the Confederations Cup

When head coach of the Russian national team Stanislav Cherchesov announced his preliminary squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup on May 15, it surprised many that Lokomotiv Moscow's Igor Denisov had been overlooked. The 33-year-old UEFA Cup winner just finished one of his personal best seasons in a long time, and at the beginning of this month, he even scored the winning goal in the cup final against FC Ural. Nevertheless, Cherchesov overlooked him, instead opting for his teammate Dmitry … [Read more...]

Russia Announce Confederations Cup Preliminary Squad

Earlier today, head coach of the Russian national team, Stanislav Cherchesov announced his preliminary squad for this summer's Confederations Cup, which is of course being played in Russia. Shortly after the Russian Football Premier League is over on May 21, Cherchesov will decide which players will join him on the training camp in Austria to prepare for the tournament. The final squad will be announced on June 7 according to the official website of the Russian Football Union. The squad is … [Read more...]

Russia – Romania Preview: Can Cherchesov’s Men Bounce Back?

When Akhmat Arena in Chechnya’s capital Grozny hosts Russia’s exhibition match against Romania on Tuesday, it will become the 14th Russian stadium to host Sbornaya since the fall of the Soviet Union. And despite the recent poor run of results, the Chechens seems excited to welcome the national team to the republic for first time, as the hosts have already sold out all the tickets for the game. The national team coming to the game however could very well end up disappointing the high hopes of … [Read more...]

Preview: Qatar v Russia

This week sees friendly action between the next two World Cup hosts of Russia and Qatar in Doha. We’ve teamed up with Asian football website Sandals for Goalposts to run the rule over the squads and likely outcomes ahead of Thursday's encounter. Qatar The Gulf nation will be using this home encounter with Russia as preparation for their last ditch attempt to crawl back into World Cup qualification reckoning, with a make or break tie in China ahead of them on Tuesday. Their form of late … [Read more...]

Russia v Costa Rica: Squad Evaluation

Russia’s upcoming friendly with Costa Rica in Krasnodar represents the second opportunity for new coach Stanislav Cherchesov to assemble his national team squad camp since he took over the hot seat from Leonid Slutsky after Russia’s Euros exit this summer. After hardly the most enthralling performances against Turkey and Ghana to kick start his reign at the beginning of the month, Cherchesov has made a couple of tweaks to his initial squad selection while continuing to disregard the widely … [Read more...]

The Last Time They Met: Russia – England (2007)

Before each game at the EURO, John Gorrod will take a look in the history books to give you the story of the previous meeting between Russia and their opponent. First up is England, who Russia beat in an almost legendary game at Luzhniki in 2007. Russia kick off their Euro 2016 campaign tonight against England in Marseille – and will look back to a magical night in Moscow for inspiration. The last time the two sides met, in the Russian capital in October 2007, the hosts were 2-1 … [Read more...]

Sbornaya Ready for England Clash

Russia's opening game of the 2016 EURO is only hours away now, and so we look at Sbornaya's chances, players and injury situation ahead of the big game against England Saturday evening.  How will Russia line up? Head coach of the Russian national team Leonid Slutsky has used the six friendlies since securing a spot at the Euros last year for experimentation. Several players have been tried at various positions, but in the end it doesn’t seem that he will leave his beloved 4-2-3-1 system … [Read more...]

Preview: Russia – Czech Republic

On Wednesday, Russia take on Czech Republic in the first of two friendlies before the Euro 2016 kicks off. We have teamed up with Czech football writer Tomas Danicek to preview the game through a classic Q&A where we asked each other five questions. Tomas Danicek (@TomDanicek) on the Czech national team:  1) Fans of Russian football immidiately recognize Tomas Necid in the Czech squad. How has he performed since leaving CSKA, and what is his role on the Czech team? Necid has been … [Read more...]