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...]

Nizny Novgorod – A World Cup City Without a Team

In December, I had the opportunity to visit Nizhny Novgorod for the first time. This is the city my wife’s family is from originally before they moved to St Petersburg and I have to say I was more than impressed. We caught the Strizh (Стриж) high-speed express train from Kurskaya Station in Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod.  A total of 4 hours’ travel, a route which I expect many European fans will take in 2018 and one which I would highly recommend. While enjoying a two course meal plus desert with … [Read more...]

Preview: Russia v Ivory Coast

Ahead of this week's friendly with Ivory Coast in Krasnodar, we've teamed up with Salim Said from African football website Sandals for Goalposts to give us the lowdown on Les Elephants, while we consider Sbornaya's prospects, three games from this summer's Confederations Cup. Russia On the back of a humbling away defeat to Qatar and a mediocre, dare I say lucky victory over Romania back in November, Russia embark on March’s brace of internationals against Ivory Coast and Belgium in … [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...]

Reactions from RFPL Week 20

Lokomotiv and Spartak came away from the Moscow derby with a point apiece in a low-scoring weekend in the Russian Premier League. Spartak’s draw meant that the chasing pack could close the gap on the leaders and both CSKA and Zenit obliged with wins over Terek Grozny and Arsenal Tula respectively. The shock result of the weekend saw lowly Tom Tomsk beat Amkar to reignite their hopes of avoiding the drop. Lokomotiv Moscow – Spartak Moscow 1-1 Goals either side of half time saw Lokomotiv … [Read more...]

Aleksandr Hleb and the Second Chance in Samara

Former Belarus international Aleksandr Hleb made the news recently as he was announced as a new signing at Krylia Sovetov Samara. Now 35-years-old, this is his second spell at the club, having joined them in 2012 following his release from a disastrous spell at Barcelona. With an illustrious European career behind him, with stints at Stuttgart, Barcelona, Wolfsburg and Birmingham, Hleb is most fondly remembered for a three year spell with Premier League giants Arsenal. Joining in 2005 from … [Read more...]

We are Russia – United Against Discrimination

Today, March 21st, is the United Nation's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. March 21st 2017 is the day when Russian football took a leap forward and begun the drive to ensure that sports will be fight all forms of discrimination, in sports and society. It is a big though much needed task. The "We Are Russia Against Discrimination" #WeareRussia #AgainstDiscrimination project was launched, bringing together 3 driven entities. A project to fight Racism and … [Read more...]

Nikolai Starostin: My Football Years (Chapter 1)

Nikolai Petrovich Starostin (1902-1996) was a Soviet football player and official. He was the co-founder of Spartak Moscow, which turned into the most popular club in the USSR and Russia, and worked as its head administrator for most of his life. Starostin is considered one of the most legendary and universally revered figures of Soviet football. In 1986, he published the book 'My Football Years' with Lev Filatov, and even well into his eighties, he retained a keen understanding of the game, … [Read more...]

Five Stars With a Past in Russian Football

Since the formation of the Russian Football Premier League in 1992, a long range of quality players have amazed fans around the country. However, with so many players coming through the ranks, some more memorable than others, others more profitable for bookmakers, it is easy to forget a couple, especially for people who don't follow the league closely. Therefore, we have dived into the history books to find five superstars you might not know played in Russia at some point in their … [Read more...]

Brian Idowu – How Russia Lost a Promising Talent

At a time where more and more foreigners are naturalized to fill the spots on the Russian national team, and Russian youngsters struggle to earn playing time in the Russian Football Premier League, it is irony at its cruelest that the country could soon end up losing one of the few youngsters who has actually taken the difficult journey from talent to RFPL regular. The player is Amkar Perm’s defender Brian Idowu who has caught the eye of the Super Eagles. Idowu’s father is Nigerian while his … [Read more...]