RFPL Week 13: Results & Team of the Week

Welcome to our inaugural RFN Team of the Week feature, in conjunction with our Betting Advice and Previews, we will review the weekend's action and each week our writers' will work together to decide the Premier League Team of the Week, decided upon the merit of their individual performances, with one player each week chosen as our Player of the Week. The number inside parentheses before the player name features how many times the selected player has featured in the RFN TOTW. Week 13 threw up … [Read more...]

Russian Winters: Andrei Kanchelskis Autobiography Review

  Andrei Kanchelskis was something of a trailblazer for Soviet football when he took his first intrepid steps in Western Europe, but his life and career to date has amounted to so much more than matters on the pitch. One of a select few to have represented three separate nations - as well as being the scorer of the last ever goal for the Soviet Union before it became the Commonwealth of Independent States - he courted fame and infamy in almost equal measure. At a time when foreign … [Read more...]

Aleksandr Kokorin’s Reformed Character

Is there a finer sight in football than the sudden, late blooming of a player believed to be lost forever? A bud thought never to open that reveals its brilliance just as winter approaches. What can be more heartening than the reminder that a player’s potential is never truly wasted until the final whistle of their final game? It is, after all, confirmation that no judgments can be passed or epitaphs penned until a career has concluded. That said, such reveals are scarce and most player’s … [Read more...]

Is Samara ready to host the 2018 World Cup?

With the World Cup coming up in less than a year, cities all over Russia are giving their best efforts to prepare for the competition and the massive influx of tourists it will undoubtedly bring. At the beginning of September, Russian Football News had the opportunity to visit Samara; the sixth largest city in Russia and host of six World Cup matches next year. During the time there, a close eye was kept on the changes that were being made in time for the World’s most popular sporting … [Read more...]

FC Ufa – How To Run a Small Club in Russia

When FC Ufa was promoted to the Premier League (RFPL) in 2014, they were one of the smallest sides in history to make the top flight. Having only existed since 2010, it took them just three seasons to rise from Professional Football League (PFL), the third tier, to the top flight, though many predicted it would not last long. How could a side like Ufa last in a league dominated by elite teams? The answer lies not just on the pitch, but behind the scenes.   At Europe's End Ufa is one of … [Read more...]

Exploring Lokomotiv Moscow’s Auspicious Start To The Season

Lokomotiv Moscow has been through a tunnel of despair, now a small glimmer of light teases the hopeful. At the time of writing they occupy second place in the RFPL table - an auspicious start with some laudable victories, a drastic improvement over last season - but where can this journey realistically finish?   Lokomotiv’s (P)Resident Bogeymen   Yuri Semin the team’s current manager is renowned for his early achievements at Lokomotiv. After he no longer saw eye-to-eye with the club’s … [Read more...]

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...]

Sbornaya – Dinamo Moscow: Another RFU Farce

Unfortunately for fans of Russian Football and particularly the Russian National Team, that headline is not a typographical error. While incumbent World Champions Germany face off against the Czech Republic and Norway in two difficult and competitive World Cup Qualifying games, Sbornaya will face Dinamo Moscow at the Arena Khimki on 3 September. Although Russia are playing, the tie has been officially denoted as a "Club Friendly", not an international. Therefore, it is the only game that the … [Read more...]

New Stadia’s Impact on Attendances in the RFPL

Low attendances in the RFPL have been the subject of much debate and despair. People have put forth many different reasons for the poor league attendance, which has hovered around 11,000 per match for the last few years. In comparison, the Bundesliga averages 41,000 per match, and the English Premier League averages 35,000 per match. Some say that the quality of the league is too low, while others, including then-Sbornaya coach Leonid Slutsky, claim that Russia is simply not a footballing … [Read more...]

Giuliano: Zenit St Petersburg’s Ephemeral Star

Giuliano Victor de Paula’s presence came to grace St Petersburg briefly; after only one full season with Zenit, he has now been sold to Fenerbahçe in Turkey. Despite a highly successful year in Russia which saw the Brazilian’s market value increase almost twofold, he appears to have left for the same modest €7m he arrived for. Mircea Lucescu’s star player found himself not especially needed under Roberto Mancini, and the fact, not least the manner of his departure, undoubtedly leaves some fans … [Read more...]