The threat from China on the RFPL

It’s January, and the start of a new transfer window is here. This usually creates a little buzz of excitement, in anticipation of the talent that potentially could be drafted in, however in Russia as is the case across the whole of Europe at the moment, the mood is that much more cautionary over players being tempted out, to China. The impact of the Chinese Super League’s rapid spending continues into yet another transfer window. Last year’s marquee signing of Hulk to Shanghai SIPG for £45m … [Read more...]

Zenit and the Winter Curse

CSKA Moscow have won three of the last four Russian championships, with Zenit St. Petersburg clinching the other. During these seasons, Zenit have been superior to CSKA, and everyone else, on the pitch in terms of quality, and this has shown in Europe especially where Zenit have outperformed the Army Men. Despite this however, CSKA ran away with the titles, with Zenit constantly falling short. In the 2012/13 season CSKA finished two points above the St. Petersburg outfit, and the following … [Read more...]

Hulk – The Football Globetrotter

Some footballers were born to be talked about. They create an aura of intrigue and awe that follows them wherever they go. More so are the men who are known worldwide by a monosyllabic moniker. When Gilvan de Sousa, a market trader from the northeastern Brazilian city of Campina Grande, referred to his son, Givanildo Vieira de Sousa, as his favourite comic book character 'Hulk', he made sure his boy would be one such man. Chance dictated that young Givanildo grew limbs like tree trunks, … [Read more...]

Hulk, Lombaerts and Witsel – How Lucescu Could Reshape Zenit

After only finishing third last season, it was expected that Zenit St. Petersburg’s newly appointed head coach Mircea Lucescu would make some changes this season. However, with no Champions League football in sight (unless FC Rostov are banned from European football because of Financial Fair Play irregulations) Zenit could be forced to sell players before starting to rejuvenate a squad where several key players are pushing 30, and where the youngest regular starter last season was 25-year-old … [Read more...]

Russian Premier League: Will anyone move to England this summer?

  The Russian Premier League isn’t exactly regarded as one of the top divisions in the world in terms of quality but there are still plenty of talented footballers throughout the 16-team league. In fact, plenty of Russia’s top prospects could earn a move to England’s top flight this summer if they perform well for the national team at Euro 2016. Here are just a few of the Russian league’s most gifted footballers and why they could earn a deserved move to the Premier League at some point this … [Read more...]

The RFN Awards 2015/2016

With the regular season of the Russian Football Premier League being over, the Russian Football News team is proud to present to you, for the second season in a row - the RFN Awards. Our team have voted on six different categories while also finding the Team of the Season.  Player of the Season: Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg) Russian Player of the Season: Fedor Smolov (FC Krasnodar) Young Player of the Season: Sardar Azmoun (FC Rostov) Best and Worst Signing of the Season: Fedor … [Read more...]

Tactical Analysis. Benfica – Zenit

The ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about affection. Their language contained four words for the different types of affection that we as humans feel. One of these, storge, is used to describe the familial affection experienced by family members for each other, the affection one feels for a pet, or the affection Zenit have had recently for playing in Portugal. With the Russian champions having won their last three encounters on Portuguese soil, most of Zenit’s players no doubt have enjoyed … [Read more...]

The Atlantic Cup Preview

With January coming to an end and thus the European play-off fixtures closing in, the Nordic and East-European clubs currently in the middle of their winter break have stepped up their game. After spending most of January focusing on the physical part of the game, February will be used to develop the more technical side, which also explains why both Zenit and Lokomotiv have chosen stronger opponents than what they encountered during their first training camps. Both Zenit and Lokomotiv are … [Read more...]

Zhirkov to Zenit?

Rumours have recently been circling around that former Chelsea and current Dinamo Moscow left back Yuri Zhirkov is set to join Russian Premier League champions Zenit St. Petersburg. The rumour seems rather an odd one as the 32 year old is hardly the sort of player that is likely to help Zenit rescue the title that is quickly slipping from their grasp. Zenit already have Domenico Criscito as their first choice left back and his excellent form in recent years has meant his Argentine understudy … [Read more...]

RFN Top 50 – 3-1

3. Artyom Dzyuba, striker, Zenit Scoring 16 times in his first 24 games for Zenit, six of these coming in the Champions League, Artyom Dzyuba has done everything he could to win over Zenit’s fans after he joined the club from archrivals Spartak Moscow before this season. Since his debut for Spartak in 2006, Dzyuba has been considered a great talent, but the fans had to wait ten years before the striker finally established himself as one of the best strikers in the country. 2015 has … [Read more...]