U21 Euro Warm Up: What Happened to Russia’s 2013 Squad?

On Saturday, the 21st edition of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship kicks off in Poland. Unfortunately, the Russian national team fell short of expectations and failed to qualify, once again, and it has only played at three of the 13 tournaments held since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The last time it participated was in 2013, when the championship was hosted by Israel. Back then, the team coached by Nikolay Pisarev found itself in the Group of Death alongside Germany, … [Read more...]

Non Domestic Russians who could make the 2018 Russian World Cup squad

There are currently around 200 Russian footballers aged 24 or under who don't play in their home country. Aside from a couple based in Uzbekistan, these are all smattered around Europe. Some play in the top division of the country they are based, and some are at amateur level, and other than Portugal, where there are at least 16 players, these appear to be relatively spread out. Out Russians are based in countries ranging from the very smallest of nations in Europe, such as Gibraltar (Kirill … [Read more...]

Denis Cheryshev’s Night of Ups and Downs

Left-winger Denis Cheryshev has been considered one of the most promising young Russian players for a long time now. The now 24-year-old Cheryshev got his big breakthrough last season as he scored seven goals and made nine assists on loan Villarreal whom he helped finish sixth in La Liga. Cheryshev’s good performances for Villarreal led Real Madrid to keep him in the squad before this season, but playing time has been rare for … [Read more...]

Five Things Russia’s Recent Friendlies Taught Us

After securing qualification for next summer’s Euro, Leonid Slutsky had his first chance to experiment a bid during Russia's two friendlies against Portugal and Croatia. Slutsky had to do without a couple of experienced players, as both Aleksandr Kokorin and Vasiliy Berezutskiy were out with injuries, which challenged the coach to find new options. When Russia took on Portugal in Krasnodar Saturday evening, Slutsky fielded his strongest possible line-up, something that payed off as the match … [Read more...]

The Cheryshev’s Saga at Nervión

On the last Sunday of May in 1997, an almost packed Benito Villamarin served an unlikely friendly atmosphere to a Real Sporting de Gijón that was struggling against an eminent relegation. The home side, Real Betis, had already secured a place in the Spanish football top tier for the upcoming season and Real Sporting were involved in a relegation battle with their all-time rivals, Sevilla FC, thus needing the three points on that particular match to keep their hopes very alive. Gijón’s manager, … [Read more...]

Amir Natcho – Russia’s Next Superstar?

When the 18 year old Russian Amir Natcho moved to FC Barcelona’s famous youth academy, La Masia, before this season, he sought to continue a long and proud tradition of Russian midfielders in Spain’s La Liga. This tradition started in the 1990s when geniuses like Aleksandr Mostovoi and Valery Karpin impressed Spanish football fans. These days Villarreal’s Denis Cheryshev, despite his position on the wing, is keeping the tradition alive until we, hopefully, see Natcho in La Liga within the next … [Read more...]