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...]

The Night of Ilshat Faizulin in the Camp Nou

That one night in the Camp Nou probably was the pinnacle of his career. On 4th November 1992, Ilshat Faizulin was, to a certain extent, the hero of the night for a mighty CSKA Moscow that outclassed the all-powerful FC Barcelona in Catalunya. Faizulin contributed with two assists in that historic 3-2 win and his overall performance was absolutely brilliant. No one expected much from CSKA Moscow that night. A 1-1 draw in the Russian capital two weeks earlier had left the Armeitsy in a very … [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...]