Barcelona 1-2 Rubin Kazan – The Greatest Giant Killing in European History?

In 2008 and 2009, FC Barcelona were at the top of the footballing world. They won every trophy available to them: La Liga, the Copa Del Rey, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. The squad that the Catalan's had put together under the management of Pep Guardiola is widely regarded as one of the best teams of all time with Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández at the peak of their careers, alongside stars such as Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Yaya Touré … [Read more...]

Foreign Academies in Russia – Talent Development or Money Machines?

Earlier this month, Italian powerhouse Juventus announced that they would open two academies in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Over the past four years, the club has held a number of training camps for local youth in Russia, for example in Sochi between April 29 and May 9 this year, and in Maykop between June 12 and 17 this month. Neither the camps nor academies are unique as the club have this kind of arrangements all over the world from Florida to Tokyo, and so do most other European … [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...]

The Night CSKA Moscow put Barcelona and Pep Guardiola in Camp Nou

CSKA Moscow is not a club you would associate with fairytales. Soviet Top League and Russian Premier League champions a combined 13 times, the early 2000s saw CSKA emerge as a dominant force in Russian football, capped off by success in the 2005 UEFA Cup – but it wasn’t always like this. Prior to the significant investment of Evgeniy Giner and Roman Abramovich-owned firms like Sibneft and Aeroflot, CSKA Moscow was an altogether different club. READ MORE: Russian Club Owners: Evgeniy … [Read more...]

What does Zenit’s new basketball team mean for the football club?

  Back in July it was announced that Zenit St. Petersburg were acquiring a basketball team. The team was originally created in 2003 and based in Moscow under the name BC Dynamo Moscow Region. It was affiliated to the 'Russian Superleague A' which at the time was the top league for Russian basketball but has since been downgraded to become the second division with the international 'VTB United League' now occupying the top position. In 2007 the team disbanded and reformed as 'Triumph … [Read more...]