Javi Gracia at Rubin Kazan – What Went Wrong?

Last week, Rubin Kazan sacked Spanish head coach Javi Gracia, before replacing him with their legendary manager from 2001-2013, Kurban Berdyev, who recently enjoyed two-and-a-half hugely successful seasons at FC Rostov. Gracia’s appointment last summer as Rubin’s first foreign coach generated a lot of excitement. His reputation of being a bright young coach preceded him, and he had pulled off a series of impressive results with former side Malaga. He gained positive marks when he arrived … [Read more...]

Evaluating the performance of Rubin’s €40m summer signings

Last summer Rubin Kazan spent €40m, according to Transfermarkt, on a whole host of big name signings from Europe, but it was to no avail as under the management of Spaniard Javi Gracia, Rubin struggled to finish in 9th place, with many of their signings -  though not all of them - failing to make an impact during the season. So just how well spent was that €40m? Alex Song - Free transfer from FC Barcelona Perhaps the most high profile of all the players who joined, with experience at … [Read more...]

Revolution in Kazan – A New Direction for Rubin

Rubin Kazan, the pride of Tatarstan, is no stranger to changes. Last summer, the club appointed Spaniard Javi Gracia from Malaga as new head coach, and they became Russia's biggest spenders as they brought in ten new players, including stars such as Alex Song from FC Barcelona and former Belgian prodigy Maxime Lestienne. Now the club has undergone a new revolution, and it is even more ambitious than the last. The appointment of Gracia was an attempt to westernise and advance the club to an … [Read more...]

Kazan Arena Review – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

“Wow that screen is massive!” my friend exclaimed as soon as we stepped out of the taxi and got our first view of the Kazan Arena and the screen on the outside of the stadium, facing the arriving fans. Kazan Arena is not only one of the stadiums that has been built for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia but also is one of the chosen four stadiums that will host games for the Confederations Cup this coming June. This means that in less than 3 months Kazan will host teams such as Germany, Chile, … [Read more...]

Maxime Lestienne and Alex Song Face Disciplinary Action in Kazan

The leading players from Rubin Kazan are prepared to send their expensive newcomers to the reserve team. The patience of the leaders is over. After the first defeat of 2017 away to Ural, the situation in Rubin has heated up. The clubs veteran leaders, Sergey Ryzhikov, Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Oleg Kuzmin on Wednesday arranged a squad meeting arranged to discuss the behaviour of Maxime Lestienne and Alex Song. The situation heated up so much, that manager Javi Gracia had to cancel morning … [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...]

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...]

Solomon Kverkvelia – From Liverpool Target to Lokomotiv

A year ago, the name of Rubin Kazan’s Solomon Kverkvelia was on everybody’s libs. The Georgian central defender was in the middle of yet another brilliant season for Rubin, his third as a crucial part of the team. He delivered two stellar performances against Liverpool in the Europa League, especially during the 1-1 draw at Anfield, and it was no surprise when Kverkvelia himself, in an interview with Georgian sports site Sportall.ge, revealed that Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Napoli and a number … [Read more...]

Ones To Watch – Ilzat Akhmetov

Biography Name: Ilzat Akhmetov DOB/Age: 31/12/1997 – 19 years old Club: Rubin Kazan Position: Attacking Midfielder Nationality: Russia Career to Date Akhmetov is a homegrown academy player, who came through the ranks at Rubin Kazan from a young age. Although he was born in Kyrgyzstan, his family moved to Kazan while he was still a toddler, and so he is eligible to represent Russia at international level. An attacking midfielder by trade, Akhmetov impressed at reserve level for Rubin, … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Rubin Kazan

Introduction Rubin Kazan had high expectations going into the season with their new manager Javi Gracia, and high profile transfers such as Alex Song, Ruben Rochina and Jonathas, however it has taken them a while to gel. The start of the season was very disappointing, with poor results against Arsenal Tula, Amkar Perm and Anzhi Makhachkala big blows to the confidence, however the move back to the Kazan Arena following renovations to the pitch was a big boost, and Rubin’s form has picked up … [Read more...]