RFPL Round 20: Results & Team of the Week

Week 20 in the RFPL marks the end of the Apertura, and the Winter Break is finally upon us. Unlike in Western Europe, this is actually a longer pause of play than in the summer, so expect some major overhauls and transfer dealings. Zenit St. Petersburg are getting their business done already just today confirming the signing of Anton Zabolotny on a three and a half year deal from local 'rivals' Tosno. The striker did not play for Tosno at the weekend, who lost 3-1 at home to league leaders … [Read more...]

Andreas Granqvist – FC Krasnodar’s Swedish warrior looking to return home

FC Krasnodar defender Andreas Granqvist is arguably in his best form ever. In November, he was Sweden’s most important player in their 1-0 aggregate win over Italy in the World Cup qualifiers that sent a shock through the footballing world, as Italy are now set to miss their first World Cup tournament since 1958. Especially in the return 0-0 leg at the San Siro, Granqvist was outstanding, singlehandedly controlling the Swedish defence. Just over a week later, he broke Zlatan Ibrahimović’s … [Read more...]

Krasnodar Academy and the Russian Youth Cup

Russia’s annual U18 tournament is undoubtedly the most intriguing and important youth tournament in the country. Each year, regional playoffs take place throughout the country in order to select the top 16 teams, which then play in the national tournament. The prestige of winning a national tournament aside, this competition is significant in one special way: as Russia’s domestic champion, the winner gets the right to play in the UEFA Youth Champion’s League, and the opportunity to play against … [Read more...]

Football Manager 2018 – Which Russian Club Should You Play With?

The latest edition of everyone's favourite football management game, Football Manager 2018, is now out. At RFN, we have a number of big fans of the series and will continue our tradition of producing our own custom update for the Russian leagues, hopefully out later this month. But when this update is out, who should you manage? Here at RFN we could justify managing every club in Russia in one way or another, but to keep this short, we will name just five potential challenges. Update: Our … [Read more...]

Ones To Watch – Ivan Ignatiev

Biography Name: Ivan Ignatiev DOB/Age: 06/01/1999 – 18 years old Club: FC Krasnodar Position: Striker Nationality: Russia   Career So Far A native of the Russian province of Krasnoyarsk, Ivan Ignatiev joined the flourishing Krasnodar academy in 2012 as a 13-year-old. As he progressed, Ignatiev started to be recognised by his country, and made his debut for Russia U15 and U16 just two years later. At every level, Ignatiev scored goals. But it was U18 level for his country where he … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Crvena Zvezda – FC Krasnodar

First Playoff Round, Second Leg: Fyodor Smolov's Return? Last week’s Europa league clash between Krasnodar and Crvena Zvezda was a thriller. Featuring five goals, one improperly disallowed and scoring chances aplenty, there was no shortage of excitement at the Krasnodar Stadium. Krasnodar comes into this game with a deserved 3-2 lead after they controlled most of the game at their home arena. Though Krasnodar does have this lead heading to Serbia, Crvena’s two away goals mean that they are in a … [Read more...]

New Stadia’s Impact on Attendances in the RFPL

Low attendances in the RFPL have been the subject of much debate and despair. People have put forth many different reasons for the poor league attendance, which has hovered around 11,000 per match for the last few years. In comparison, the Bundesliga averages 41,000 per match, and the English Premier League averages 35,000 per match. Some say that the quality of the league is too low, while others, including then-Sbornaya coach Leonid Slutsky, claim that Russia is simply not a footballing … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: FC Krasndar – Crzena Zvezda

First Playoff Round, First Leg: Bulls Bullish or Red Star Gleaming? Krasnodar enters this week’s Europa League match against Serbian side Crvena Zvezda in some spotty form. As of late, they have drawn against two potential relegation candidates in the RFPL. Between these disappointing draws came a last gasp victory over FC Akhmat, who is expected to challenge for European places this year. On top of their questionable form, injury concerns abound for Krasnodar, with some newcomers potentially … [Read more...]

Season Preview: FC Krasnodar

Krasnodar have qualified for the Europa League three years in a row now and will be aiming to do so again in Igor Shalimov’s first full season in charge of the Bulls. This may look harder than ever with the disappointing performances of the team last season both in Europe and domestically, questions marks over the future of star player Fyodor Smolov and the emergence of Rubin Kazan and Akhmat Grozny as genuine contenders for European qualification. This summer has been somewhat of a … [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...]