Nikita Simonyan: How the son of an Armenian illegal immigrant became the ‘Grandfather of Russian Football’

245 matches, 160 goals, 0 yellow card and 0 red cards. These statistics are but a microcosm of Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan’s career for Spartak Moscow. Simonyan was as a player, manager, club ambassador and, above all else, still is a keen supporter of Spartak Moscow, and throughout this time has acted as a humble sportsman, functionary and gentleman. Upon celebrating his 90th birthday last season, the club hosted him as a honoured guest and invited him onto the pitch before the match with FC … [Read more...]

The Black Secret of Luzhniki – Between Memory and Oblivion

20th October 1982, Sixty-six Spartak Moscow fans would traverse up the stairway on Tribune C of the Central Lenin Stadium, the current Luzhniki, for a UEFA Cup game against Dutch side HFC Haarlem. This would be the last time they would ever make their journey, as, during injury time, they tragically died in a stampede, the majority of which were adolescents enjoying their first-ever game. 38 of the victims were aged eighteen or under, with the youngest, schoolboy Volodya Anikin, who had just … [Read more...]

What Have We Learned From the First Third of the RFPL Season?

The first third of the Russian Football Premier League season has been predictably unpredictable. Spartak Moscow, the reigning champions of the league, sit in a disappointing 8th place. Massimo Carrera’s men have struggled to hold leads and pick up points against lesser sides, and this wastefulness has showed in their league standing. Meanwhile in Kazan, Kuban Berdyev has not yet been able to work his magic like he did in Rostov, with Rubin’s defense looking surprisingly porous at times. … [Read more...]

Everything you need to know about: FC Spartak Moscow

After a decade and a half of obscurity, Spartak Moscow is finally back to the big time, back into the Champions League and winning trophies. However, the honeymoon was short-lived as "good old Spartak" thus far in 2017/18 have returned to their now all too welcoming mediocrity. Hopefully, as in the grand days of Oleg Romantsev and Konstantin Beskov's reigns, Spartak have the potential to thrive in Europe. History Spartak has its foundations in the Russian Gymnastics Society (RGO Sokol), which … [Read more...]

Spartak Moscow – Lokomotiv Moscow: Match Report and Press Conferences

Spartak Moscow - Lokomotiv Moscow 3-4 (2-0) Spartak Moscow: Selikhov - Eschenko, Tasci, Bocchetti, Kombarov - Glushakov, Pašalić (Fernando, 72), Samedov, Ananidze (Melgarejo, 46), Promes - Luiz Adriano. Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme - Ignatyev, Kverkvelia, Pejcinovic, Rybus (V. Denisov, 46) - I. Denisov, Barinov (Kolomeitsev, 78), Tarasov (An. Miranchuk, 46) - Al. Miranchuk, Fernandes, Farfán. Goals: Glushakov, 30 - 1:0. Luiz Adriano, 43 - 2:0. Barinov, 48 - 2:1. Al. Miranchuk, 68 - 2:2. … [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...]

Interview with Maksym Kalynychenko, Part Two: The FNL, Spartak under Oleg Romantsev, and more.

Maksym Kalynychenko, who played for Spartak Moscow from 2000-2008 sat down with Alexey Spektrowski in collaboration with our friends over at ProSpartak. Here we present Part Two of the interview in English, where the pair discusses the state of the FNL and Maksym's experiences of traveling throughout Russia, Soviet Football including the work and life of Nikolai Starostin and Oleg Romantsev's dominant Spartak Moscow side in the 1990s. Make sure to read Part One first, … [Read more...]

Interview with Maksym Kalynychenko, Part One: Spartak’s Situation Today

Maksym Kalynychenko, who played for Spartak Moscow from 2000-2008 sat down with Alexey Spektrowski in collaboration with our friends over at ProSpartak. Here we present Part One of the interview in English, where the pair discusses the current situation in Spartak, the players, and Massimo Carrera. ***   The first questions, of course, will concern Spartak. What happened in the game against CSKA? Well... Everyone saw what happened. We lost. Losing a game in two minutes is bad, … [Read more...]

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: Spartak Moscow

Since the elation of last season’s championship win, Massimo Carrera has understandably kept a steady ship during the 2017/18 off-season, overseeing merely two incomings and sanctioning only two senior departures, at the time of writing. The club’s first Russian title in sixteen years may have been a long and agonising drought, but was worth the wait for the fans of the Red-Whites, with the victory Spartak’s 10th Russian championship victory, extending the club’s record as the most successful … [Read more...]