Valery Gazzaev – The Ossetian Polymath

A polymath isn’t usually a word you use to describe a person associated with football, but in Valery Gazzaev’s case, an exception can definitely be made. Gazzaev scored more than a 100 goals as a player, made history as a manager, is often seen talking about reforms in Russian football and is a member of the Duma. Wherever the man goes, he makes an impact, which makes him one of the most revered figures in Russian football. Gazzaev was born in the Ossetian city of Ordzhonikidze (now … [Read more...]

Reminiscing 2005: CSKA Moscow’s Golden Year

Ever since its inception in 1911, CSKA Moscow has seen everything. From being forced to withdraw from the league in 1952, to winning the last ever Soviet championship in 1991. However there has undoubtedly never been a year as special in the club’s history as 2005, when the Red-Blues became the first and only Russian club to win the treble. Fans remember Yuri Zhirkov’s goal to put the horses, as the club is known, ahead in the UEFA Cup Final in Lisbon like it was yesterday, for it is probably … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 20: Results & Team of the Week

Week 20 in the RFPL marks the end of the Apertura, and the Winter Break is finally upon us. Unlike in Western Europe, this is actually a longer pause of play than in the summer, so expect some major overhauls and transfer dealings. Zenit St. Petersburg are getting their business done already just today confirming the signing of Anton Zabolotny on a three and a half year deal from local 'rivals' Tosno. The striker did not play for Tosno at the weekend, who lost 3-1 at home to league leaders … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Manchester United – CSKA Moscow

Manchester United v CSKA Moscow - Tuesday, 5 December, 19:45 GMT, Old Trafford. CSKA Moscow goes into arguably the most important match in their recent history at the Theatre of Dreams, and you can't really get a bigger stage nor more difficult opposition for Viktor Goncharenko's men to guarantee they'll continue to play Champions League football in Spring 2018. First, here's the permutations from RFN statistician Alexey Spektrowski: CSKA advance to the Champions League knockout stage, … [Read more...]

Russian Clubs’ European Permutations

It's been a great European season for the Russian clubs so far. Four out of the five participants, with the exception being FC Krasnodar, reached the group stage, where they have performed quite well, and three of them have already secured Europa League knockout spots. Moreover, both Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow still have chances to advance to the Champions League knockout stage, though to guarantee that, they both need big wins in England. Here's a brief rundown on all the European … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: CSKA Moscow – SL Benfica

CSKA Moscow can take a huge stride towards the Champions League knockout stages if they secure three vital points when they host Benfica on Wednesday. The Muscovites have been dreadful at home so far in their Champions League campaign as they were thrashed 4-1 by Manchester United and lost 2-0 to Basel. However, their away form has been magnificent: they beat Benfica 2-1 in Lisbon and gained sweet revenge on Basel last time out with another 2-1 victory. Man Utd have run away with the group, but … [Read more...]

Football Manager 2018 – Which Russian Club Should You Play With?

The latest edition of everyone's favourite football management game, Football Manager 2018, is now out. At RFN, we have a number of big fans of the series and will continue our tradition of producing our own custom update for the Russian leagues, hopefully out later this month. But when this update is out, who should you manage? Here at RFN we could justify managing every club in Russia in one way or another, but to keep this short, we will name just five potential challenges. Update: Our … [Read more...]

16 Years Without Number 16 – Remembering Serhiy Perkhun

Before PFC CSKA Moscow’s recent outing against FC Rostov in the Premier League, the Red-Blue fans displayed a massive banner with the text: “16 years without number 16”. Alongside the banner, was a giant picture of goalkeeper Serhiy Perkhun, who played for the club in 2001. The actions were in honour of the Ukrainian born goalkeeper, who died 16 years ago of a brain hemorrhage after a head-to-head collision with an Anzhi Makhachkala player during a game in the Premier League. Although it’s a … [Read more...]

Everything you need to know about: Aleksandr Golovin

At the age of just 21, Aleksandr Golovin is considered by many to be just about the best playmaker in Russia at the moment. It is hard to believe the composition and intelligence belongs to a man not long out of his teens, and one who has become the creative lynchpin for both club and country. Golovin has grown through the youth system of CSKA Moscow, the club with which he signed as a 16-year-old with skills acquired originally from playing futsal, and has established himself in the starting … [Read more...]

UCL Group A Opposition: Between Hope and Reality for CSKA

Less than 24 hours after CSKA clinched their way to Champions League Group Stage, UEFA held the group stage draw in Monaco. Since CSKA finished as the runner-up in the league – coupled with their low coefficients – they were placed in Pot 4 along with other minnows. SL Benfica, Manchester United, and FC Basel were drawn into group A to face the Army Men. Here we summmarise the other competitors in Group A, in order to visualize the competition as well as CSKA’s chance in the tournament. SL … [Read more...]