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...]

Does Russian Football Make Average Foreigners Look Good?

When Zenit St. Petersburg signed Yoann Mollo from Krylia Sovetov earlier this year, both Zenit fans and observers from Mollo's home nation France raised their eyebrows. The fans of Zenit thought that Mollo was not at the level of their club, only shining at Krylia as he was the focal point in their counter attacking style of play, and therefore took the lead in most of their attacking play. French observers, fans of his former club Saint Etienne, for example, struggled to believe that a player … [Read more...]

Zenit’s Difficulties To Keep Prized Asset Witsel

Quiet often the negative coverage Russian football receives overshadows the actual quality, entertainment value, competitiveness, and the talent of that what currently apply their trade in the host country for the 2018 World Cup. This is very much the case when the discussion of Axel Witsel comes around like an annual tradition as his name is discussed with a potential big money move to one of European football’s giants regularly. The 6ft 1inched Witsel has attracted interest of club's … [Read more...]