World Cup 2018 City Guide: Samara

Samara at a Glance Population: 1.17m Stadium: Samara Arena Number of matches: 6 Costa Rica – Serbia Denmark – Australia Uruguay – Russia Senegal – Colombia E1 – F2 (Round of 16) F1/E2 – H1/G2 (Quarter Final) During the Soviet era, Samara played an important role for the USSR. Formerly known as Kuybyshev, the city was named as the alternative capital of the Soviet Union should Moscow fall to the invading Germans. After the war, Kuybyshev became the leading city in spaceship innovation, … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast – World Cup Dark Horses, Europa League Review & FNL Cup

Thomas Giles, Toke Theilade, & Andrew Flint bring the latest from the 2018 World Cup host country, with a Europa League review, a look at some possible dark horses for the World Cup, and an FNL Cup round-up. You can find the podcast on SoundCloud, or subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. You can also subscribe via iTunes by selecting – File, Subscribe to Podcast – and entering the following … [Read more...]

Spartak 1-3 Athletic Club: A Lesson in Concentration

Spartak Moscow - Athletic Bilbao 1-3 (0-3 HT) Goals: Luiz Adriano, 60 - Aduriz, 22, 39. Kutepov, 45 (own goal) Spartak Moscow: Rebrov, Eschenko, Tasci, Kutepov, Kombarov, Fernando, Zobnin, Glushakov (Hanni, 75), Melgarejo (Ze Luis, 58), Promes, Luiz Adriano Athletic Bilbao: Iago Herrerín, De Marcos, Álvarez, Etxeita, Iñigo Lekue, Iturraspe, Rico, Susaeta (San José), Raúl García, Williams (Merino), Aduriz The Match I must admit that in the first fifteen minutes, I didn't expect … [Read more...]

Nikita Simonyan Biography: Football – Is It Just a Game? (Part Three)

Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan (1926-  ) is the current vice president of the Russian Football Union, and one of the most noteworthy figures in Russian and Soviet football. Between 1949 and 1959 he became the highest scoring player ever for Spartak Moscow, with whom he won four Soviet championships, and he was also one of the stars on the Soviet national team that won the 1956 Olympics and finished fourth at the 1958 World Cup.  He later went into coaching and he won three Soviet championships … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Spartak Moscow – Athletic Club

Spartak Moscow - Athletic Club – Thursday 15 February, 18:00 GMT – Otkritie Arena, Moscow. Spartak Moscow failed to earn a seeding for the Europa League knockouts and thus are forced to faceoff against Group J winners Athletic Club. Athletic are a club with enormous heritage in the competition, having reached the semi-final in 2012, the quarters in 2014 and 2016, and star striker Aritz Aduriz is the fifth highest goalscorer in the competition's history with 28 in just 43 games - and has five … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Celtic – Zenit St. Petersburg

Celtic FC v FC Zenit St. Petersburg – Thursday, 15 February, 20:05 GMT – Celtic Park, Glasgow. After their long winter break, Zenit St. Petersburg return to the action as they take on Celtic in the Europa League. Whilst not the easiest draw for Zenit, Celtic represent a very winnable game for the blue-white-sky blues. Zenit's Europa League campaign has so far been mainly positive. Of course there have been the odd few hiccups such as a tight two legged aggregate victory in the Europa League … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: OGC Nice – Lokomotiv Moscow

OGC Nice v Lokomotiv Moscow – Thursday, 15 February, 18:00 GMT – Allianz Riviera, Nice. After a long winter break, Lokomotiv Moscow return to action on Thursday evening, where they face French side OGC Nice away in the Europa League. For Lokomotiv Moscow, a trip to southern France must be a nice break from the cold Muscovite winter, but for the Railroaders there won't be time for sightseeing or relaxing. The red-greens travel to France with one purpose; to secure a good starting point prior … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: FK Crvena Zvezda – CSKA Moscow

Crvena Zvezda v CSKA Moscow – Tuesday, 15 February, 17:00 GMT – Marakana, Belgrade The Army Men are up against it in this first leg somewhat, facing their old enemy, Spartak Moscow's comrades, Red Star Belgrade. It is well-known that the Delije and Fratria are well-connected and interconnected with each other, as fans of each side are often found in each respective other team's away ends. Furthermore, the atmosphere at the Marakana is famously hostile and difficult for an away side, and CSKA … [Read more...]

An Interview with Kurban Berdyev, Part One: “I rate Maurizio Sarri higher than Guardiola”

Last month, one of Russian Football News' partners, Kazan-based Sport Business Online (Sport BO), published a two-part interview with Rubin Kazan manager Kurban Berdyev, which took place in early January. Berdyev, who is arguably one of the RFPL's greatest ever managers, is notoriously introverted and has never given an interview of this length and detail before. In total, the Turkmen spoke with Sport BO's Vladislav Zimagulov and Airat Shamilov for almost seven hours.  An interview of this … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast – RFN Top 50, Transfer Window Update & Europa League Preview

In the latest edition of the RFN Podcast, host Thomas Giles is joined by Artëm Makarevitch and Toke Theilade. They return with the latest from the 2018 World Cup host country. On this episode they reveal the RFN Top 50, provide an update on the transfer window, and preview Russian teams in Europa League action. You can find the podcast on SoundCloud, or subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. You can also subscribe via iTunes by selecting – File, Subscribe to … [Read more...]