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...]

Keisuke Honda – The Emperor Who Lost his Way

Ever since Japan participated in their first World Cup in 1998, the Land of the Rising Sun has produced a number of excellent footballers. One of them, Keisuke Honda, made a name for himself in Russia, developing from a promising, yet unknown talent, into a world class player, able to fight with the big boys. However, as brilliant he was on the pitch, equally challenging he was off the pitch, where a cynical approach to business and an impeccable belief in own abilities made him leave the club … [Read more...]

Vitinho and Olanare – The Lost Sons are Back to Save CSKA’s Season

CSKA Moscow has been known for having great strikers this millennium. From Vagner Love to Ivica Olic, from Jo to Seydou Doumbia, the Army Men have been blessed up front with some of the strongest legionnaires in the history of the Russian Football Premier League, but this season has been different. After selling Ahmed Musa to Leicester in the summer, the Red-Blues went into the season with Lacina Traoré, Carlos Strandberg and Fyodor Chalov as the striking options, and the results have … [Read more...]

A Look at the Current State of the RFPL

As the winter break neared, the main story in the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) was the exit of Leonid Slutsky from CSKA Moscow. Slutsky’s departure comes while his side is third in the league table, eight points off the leaders Spartak Moscow and struggling for form. He however leaves as the longest serving manager of the club and one of their most significant. Will Viktor Goncharenko be able to turn the CSKA around? Slutsky has managed the club for seven years since 2009, with 167 … [Read more...]

Seven Years with Leonid Slutsky

When Valery Gazzaev left CSKA Moscow at the end of 2008, the Army Men embarked upon the impossible task of replacing one of Russian football’s most successful coaches. Eventually they picked Brazilian legend Zico, who arrived in Moscow under high of expectations. Despite winning both the Cup and the Super Cup, the Brazilian only lasted nine months in Moscow, before he left the club after a series of poor results, including a cup exit to FNL side FC Ural. To replace Zico, CSKA opted for another … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Lokomotiv Moscow

The season began with some unexpected shocks. Head coach Igor Cherevchenko resigned before it was announced that club’s president Olga Smorodskaya and her team were leaving Lokomotiv. The most famous women in Russian football was replaced by Ilya Gerkus, former Zenit’s development director and ex–CEO of Liga–TV. Gerkus hired Igor Korneev, who also worked for Zenit, as sporting director, while Lokomotiv’s legendary coach Yuri Semin returned to the club for the fourth time to take over after … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast: Slutsky Leaves CSKA, Doping Scandal and Can Spartak Win The Title?

Host Thomas Giles is joined by regular guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint to talk about the latest news from the world of Russian football. After manager Leonid Slutsky left his role as CSKA Moscow boss, the trio discuss what is next for both Slutsky and CSKA. They then talk about the latest doping allegations to hit Russian sport and how it relates to football in Russia before asking whether current league leaders Spartak Moscow can finally win the title after a 16 year … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: CSKA Moscow

Introduction: “They are who we thought they were.” It's a phrase used jokingly by some American sports fans but there isn’t a phrase more apt to describing the first half of the Russian Premier league season for the Central Sport Club of the Army. As it became apparent that CSKA Moscow was going to be quite conservative with its finances this year, fans recognized that a “ticket seller” Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa would be gone for this season. Because of this fans wondered from where the … [Read more...]

Big Challenges Awaits Goncharenko at CSKA

After seven years in charge of CSKA Moscow, Leonid Slutsky left the Army Men following last week's 3-1 defeat at Wembley to Tottenham Hotspurs, and he’ll be replaced by his former assistant, the current FC Ufa head coach Viktor Goncharenko. With Slutsky on the sideline, CSKA experienced an almost unprecedented spell of stability in Russian standards, and it paid off on the pitch as the Red-Blues won three championships, the last coming last season, two cup titles and two Super Cups during … [Read more...]

Ones To Watch – Igor Bezdenezhnykh

Biography Name: Igor Bezdenezhnykh DOB/Age: 08/08/1996 – 20 years old Club: FC Ufa Position: Central midfield Nationality: Russia Career so far Igor Bezdenezhnykh has spent his entire career in his home city of Ufa, graduating through several youth teams before joining his cities biggest club, FC Ufa. As a 17 year old, Bezdenezhnykh made Ufa’s match day squad numerous times in their promotion season from the FNL, although he failed to make an appearance. His reward for impressive … [Read more...]