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 Rostov

What a difference 12 months makes. Last summer, Rostov were flying higher than they’d ever done before having qualified for their first Champions League campaign and only missed out on the title by a single goal, with arguably Russian football’s best tactician masterminding success from the sidelines. Fast forward to 2017, and their entire project is crumbling to pieces; 13 players (at the time of writing) have left the club, Kurban Berdyev has returned to his former home in the Rubin Kazan, and … [Read more...]

Berdyev’s Masterpiece is Falling Apart

After two and a half incredible seasons at FC Rostov, which saw the club challenge for the Russian championship and play in the Champions League, both for the first time, Kurban Berdyev has left the Yellow-Blues, and with him the club’s hopes of staying in the top of Russian football too. There is little doubt that Turkmen Berdyev was the mastermind behind Rostov’s sudden flight towards the stars. Under Berdyev, the club went from fighting to avoid relegation to battling CSKA Moscow and Zenit … [Read more...]

Nikita Medvedev – Record Breaker

On the 1st of November 2015, Nikita Medvedev played his final game for his hometown club, Zenit-Izhevsk, as they triumphed 2-0 in the PFL (the 3rd tier of Russian football) against Nosta Novotroitsk. In the 18 months since he signed for his new side FC Rostov, Medvedev has made his league, cup and European debut, played against the three biggest sides in Russia, Sparta Prague and Manchester United, and broken the biggest goalkeeping record in Russian football. Excluding a cup defeat to Dinamo … [Read more...]

Why Rostov Defeat Could Signal Bad Things to Come for Spartak Moscow

Saturday was supposed to be a day of celebration for Russian Football Premier League leaders Spartak Moscow. Not only did the popular head coach Massimo Carrera, who is about to bring home the first championship in 14 year, turn 53, but the Red-Whites also played away against FC Rostov in the league  in front of a sold out away section. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned for Myaso. The home side came into the game with five 0-0s in a row - a new RFPL record - slowly drifting … [Read more...]

Bukharov Returns to Sbornaya

When Aleksandr Bukharov received his debut for the Russian national team in October 2009, no one expected it would take him eight years to get his first start for Sbornaya, but it did. After receiving his debut against Azerbaijan in 2009, Bukharov finally got to start for the national team on Friday, when he delivered a disappointing performance as Russia lost 2-0 at home to Ivory Coast. When he played 26 minutes against Azerbaijan he was, at the age of 24, about to finish the best season of … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast – Dodgy Pitches, Crisis At Tom Tomsk And The Latest Aleksandr Kokorin Scandal

Host Thomas Giles is joined by usual guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint to discuss the recent suspension of matches at FC Rostov and Rubin Kazan as a result of their poor pitches following the uproar surrounding the issue in Rostov's Europa League clash against Manchester United. They then talk about the financial chaos at Tom Tomsk and question whether allowing them to continue in the Russian Premier League undermines the competition. Finally, Aleksandr Kokorin is back in the negative … [Read more...]

Preview Rostov vs Manchester United: What The Red Devils Can Expect

Manchester United may be favourites to lift the Europa League come the end of the season but Jose Mourinho is taking nothing for granted against Rostov – and rightly so. Reacting in the immediate aftermath of the draw, the Special One described the tie as bad “in every aspect”. "They have a very good Champions League campaign, they beat Ajax and Anderlecht in playoffs. And in the group phase, a difficult group with Bayern and Atletico, they managed good results against them." The … [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 2

Lokomotiv Moscow Lokomotiv have had one of the better windows in the league. The main event for them was keeping hold of wonderkid Aleksey Miranchuk. For the whole window, a saga of will he, won’t he rumours were in the press as Rubin Kazan sniffed around. In the end, Lokomotiv’s high asking price put off Rubin, who will try to pick up the youngster for free in the summer. However, Loko did lose club legend Aleksandr Samedov to city rivals Spartak, while clearing out some deadweight in Ezekiel … [Read more...]