The importance of the Europa League and Russia’s standing in European Football

It goes against reason to argue that Russia deserves another Champions League spot given we’re coming off the back of one of their most dismal tournament performances to date, with both Premier League representatives exiting in the group stage prior to the winter break. However, despite their shortcomings in UEFA’s premier competition, the Russian Football Premier League is primed to overtake the Portuguese Primiera Liga in becoming Europe’s 6th best league and clinch another direct ticket to … [Read more...]

Russian Reactions to the Europa League Games and Draw

Rostov - Sparta Prague (5-1 on agg) Rostov will face Manchester United in the Round of 16 of the Europa League after a comfortable aggregate victory over Sparta Prague. A resounding 4-0 victory in Russia meant that only a major collapse in Prague would prevent Ivan Daniliants’ side from progressing. Dmitriy Poloz fired Rostov ahead but the 10-man hosts equalised seven minutes from time via former CSKA Moscow defender Vyacheslav Karavaev. Head coach Daniliants was pleased by his side’s … [Read more...]

Preview: Fenerbahce – FC Krasnodar

Fenerbahce (0) - (1) Krasnodar, Wednesday 5pm GMT, Istanbul First Leg Krasnodar shook off winter break rustiness to take a slender advantage back to Turkey thanks to debutant Viktor Claesson’s diving header just three minutes into the game in Russia last week. Fenerbahce offered very little threat going forwards as they failed to score a crucial away goal which may prove to be decisive. meanwhile, Cristian Ramírez was a revelation on his debut offering as much threat going forwards as … [Read more...]

Krasnodar – Fenerbahce Preview: A Chance for the New Boys to Shine

After a long winter break that saw some key business done for FC Krasnodar, they resume competitive action against Turkish giants Fenerbahçe on Thursday night, looking to improve on last season’s capitulation to Sparta Prague at the same stage. Russian clubs traditionally perform poorly in the knockout stages of continental competition, with many blaming the extended lack of match fitness, but with qualification for next year’s Europa League in the balance, Igor Shalimov’s side will be desperate … [Read more...]

Russian Clubs Gear Up for European Fixtures

After two months’ break, the Europa League kicks off in two weeks, and three Russian clubs are still competing in the tournament. On February 1, Zenit St. Petersburg, FC Rostov and FC Krasnodar all registered their squad for the next legs in the tournament, and it’s time to take the temperature on the Russian contenders left in European football. FC Rostov Rostov impressed everyone by finishing third in the Champions League Group of Death behind Bayen Munich and Atletico Madrid but ahead of … [Read more...]

Viktor Claesson – Krasnodar’s latest Scandinavian Import

In the winter of 2011, FC Krasnodar signed Armenian striker Yura Movsisyan at Danish side Randers FC. Two years and 23 league goals later, they sold him to Spartak Moscow for almost four times what they had paid for him themselves. The Armenian was the Bulls’ first Scandinavian signing, and he was quickly followed by much more. Since then, Krasnodar have signed Wanderson from Swedish side GAIS, Ragnar Sigurdsson from FC Copenhagen, and Stefan Strandberg from Rosenborg, while also adding Swedish … [Read more...]

RFN Top 50 2016: 3-1

3: Giuliano, Midfielder, Zenit (NEW ENTRY) No one really knew what to expect from the Brazilian when he joined Zenit before this season. After a couple of seasons in Ukraine with Dnipro Giuliano returned to Brazil in 2014, and left the public eye. When Zenit sold Hulk, many fans hoped for the club to replace him with a major signing, but Giuliano, who was brought in for €7 million, has done a better job than any marquee signing could ever do. Of course, it has been impossible for Giuliano … [Read more...]

Kouassi Eboue – From Akakro to Glasgow

Celtic this week agreed to sign 19-year-old Ivorian midfielder Kouassi Eboue from Krasnodar for a fee reportedly in the region of €3million. The youngster only made his debut for the Russian side in May in the final game of last season. In October, he conducted his first major interview when he spoke to Krasnodar’s official website, where he was described as having the potential to develop into ‘a real master’. The road leading to Glasgow’s Celtic Park included pit stops in Armenia and … [Read more...]

Reactions From Krasnodar’s Dramatic Victory Against Zenit

FC Krasnodar conceded late but hit back with two injury time goals to defeat Zenit St. Petersburg 2-1 in a remarkable end to the game. Artyom Dzyuba looked set to have snatched a win for the men from St Petersburg by firing home after a goalkeeping error in the 86th minute. The hosts refused to give up and equalised in the first minute of stoppage time when Marat Izmailov pounced on Dominic Criscito’s ponderous defending. In a moment befitting of winning any game, Tornike Okriashvili … [Read more...]

Robert Evdokimov and the Farce in Krasnodar

Krasnodar and Orenburg drew 3-3 in a game which provided brilliant entertainment both on and off the pitch. Mauricio Pereyra and Ari had the hosts two goals ahead by the 11th minute but a strike from Sergei Breev and a brace from Vladimir Poluyakhtov saw the visitors complete a remarkable turnaround by the half hour. Jules Eboue was sent off for Krasnodar in the 44th minute, prompting a theatrical overreaction by the Ivorian. In the 73rd minute, Andrei Malykh saw red for Orenburg and, … [Read more...]