Season Preview: Rubin Kazan

This time last year, Rubin Kazan fans were filled with hope and promise. Their team had spent €40m on transfers, and appointed Spaniard Javi Gracia as their coach, but come the end of the season, they were languishing in 9th place, with Gracia working on borrowed time. A month later, Gracia was gone, and after lengthy rumour, Rubin's legendary manager from 2001-2013, Kurban Berdyev, rejoined the club after two highly successful seasons at FC Rostov. Berdyev is not alone in making the swap … [Read more...]

Javi Gracia at Rubin Kazan – What Went Wrong?

Last week, Rubin Kazan sacked Spanish head coach Javi Gracia, before replacing him with their legendary manager from 2001-2013, Kurban Berdyev, who recently enjoyed two-and-a-half hugely successful seasons at FC Rostov. Gracia’s appointment last summer as Rubin’s first foreign coach generated a lot of excitement. His reputation of being a bright young coach preceded him, and he had pulled off a series of impressive results with former side Malaga. He gained positive marks when he arrived … [Read more...]

Berdyev’s Masterpiece is Falling Apart

After two and a half incredible seasons at FC Rostov, which saw the club challenge for the Russian championship and play in the Champions League, both for the first time, Kurban Berdyev has left the Yellow-Blues, and with him the club’s hopes of staying in the top of Russian football too. There is little doubt that Turkmen Berdyev was the mastermind behind Rostov’s sudden flight towards the stars. Under Berdyev, the club went from fighting to avoid relegation to battling CSKA Moscow and Zenit … [Read more...]

FC Rostov – More Than Just the Russian Leicester

When FC Rostov challenged for the title last season, they were often described as the Russian version of Leicester City. And that is probably the easiest way to explain to a foreigner what feelings this team causes. Two years ago, Rostov was in last place in the Russian Football Premier League, but then they hired Kurban Berdyev as the new head coach, and he managed to turn things around in an almost magical way. Following survival in the top flight, which required two relegation play-off … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: FC Rostov

After finishing second last season, and focusing everything on qualifying for the Champions League group stage, it was natural that Rostov would struggle domestically this season. The extra European fixtures have clearly taken their toll on the small squad, explaining why they have lost games they probably wouldn’t have lost last season. Furthermore, listeners of the RFN Podcast will know that Rostov’s summer wasn’t quiet. Talismanic Head Coach Kurban Berdyev left the club to pursue a … [Read more...]

Ones To Watch – Sardar Azmoun

Following the rumours of Sardar Azmoun being linked with Liverpool, we at Russian Football News were inundated with requests and questions for information about this talented front man, who very few knew about. Inspired by this, we have decided to start a new series - Ones To Watch - a collection of informative articles, detailing the top young talents in the Russia, looking at how they have progressed in their career, before highlighting the players' strengths and weaknesses, and finally a … [Read more...]

5 Things We Learned About Russian Football in August

1: Sbornaya’s rejuvenation process is finally underway Neither Fabio Capello nor Leonid Slutsky managed to force through the needed generational changes on the national team, but Stanislav Cherchesov looks like a man who is ready to do what it takes to be successful in 2018. It is still very early in the process, but the former Spartak goalkeeper’s first squad looked very promising. He kept no fewer than 15 of the 23 European Championship participants out of the squad, and he included several … [Read more...]

The Berdyev Saga at Otkritie Arena

All football clubs have their ups and downs, whether they are from a sporting point of view or from a strategic one. To minimize the problems on the latter, the club needs to develop a general sporting strategy by asking the right questions. What are our goals long-term and short term, and how does these fit together with the budget? How much should you allocate to transfers, and what kind of salary policy should you implement? Furthermore, how big a chunk of the overall budget should be … [Read more...]

Preview: Ajax v Rostov (UCL Playoff)

Last season's sensational silver-winners from FC Rostov are just two games away from the Champions League group stage. However, first of all they have to beat Dutch powerhouse Ajax. We have teamed up with Will Burns from Total Dutch Football to give you the best possible insight before the first of two crucial matches. Ajax: After a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Roda JC on Saturday evening, Peter Bosz's Ajax hosts Russian Premier League side FC Rostov in what could be the most … [Read more...]

Moscow Madness – Two Clubs, One Problem

If Bill Murray were alive today and wanted to update his classic "Groundhog Day", he'd most likely set it in Moscow and be a sports reporter. Thankfully he didn't die in that Thelma & Louise style crash and both he, and the groundhog, continue their acting careers. Yet the fact remains, we are living through Groundhog Day in the latest outbreak of Moscow Madness. Comedy Clubs A popular show on Russian TV is Comedy Club, which is about as funny as having a prostate check from Captain Hook. … [Read more...]