EURO 2016 Player Profile: Oleg Shatov

Introduction: Shatov shouldn't really be a professional footballer, and indeed very nearly wasn't. Standing at 1.73 metres and weighing just 64kg, his physique is more suited to futsal, which he played up until five years ago for one-time UEFA Futsal Cup winners MFK Viz-Sinatra Ekaterinburg. Despite spanning over 400 squared kilometres and boasting a population greater than Leicester's, his home town of Nizhny Tagil is more famous for spawning the reprobate character in Russia's answer to … [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...]

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 – 10-4

10. Seydou Doumbia, forward, CSKA On a personal level, 2015 has shot up and down for Seydou Doumbia as the Ivorian hitman finally secured his big move to Serie A with AS Roma, only to return with his tail between his legs in the summer on loan to CSKA. Despite an initial burst of goals that inspired the Army Men through to the Champions League group stages, his impact has diminished significantly; although his upper body strength is impressive, according to InStat only Edgar Manucharyan … [Read more...]

RPL Week 2: Around the Match Day

The big story in the previous weekend was the World Cup draw in St. Petersburg. 208 nations hope to qualify for the biggest stage in football, and for the first time in the history of the World Cup all national teams around the globe registered for the qualification tournaments. The ceremony was held at the historic Konstantin Palace, and it wasn’t without controversies as Zenit’s Brazilian star Hulk, who was supposed to be one of the assistants at the draw, pulled out a briefly before the draw … [Read more...]

Zenit Secures the Title – A Look on their Incredible Season

Last Sunday Zenit St. Petersburg won their fourth Russian Premier League title and their fifth league title in total, 31 years after they won the first in the Soviet Supreme League in 1984. The championship was secured after a 1-1 draw with FC Ufa, making them unreachable for their closest rivals – CSKA Moscow and FC Krasnodar. Zenit’s road to success had already started last season, when André Villas-Boas signed a two year contract on the 18th of March, following a disastrous ending to … [Read more...]