Fake News is not Good News – Russia and FIFPro

A few days after FIFPro, the international union for professional football players, unveiled the "Biggest ever football survey", I met with the President and CEO of Russia's legal Footballers Union (ARFPU), Alexander Zotov. It was on the sidelines of a Sponsorship in Sports Forum and despite the bling and jazz of stars and big hitters in the Hilton, the most interesting story came from Roman Shirokov and Zotov. We will recall the issues surrounding the 2 footballers unions in Russia. One … [Read more...]

EURO 2016 Player Profile: Roman Shirokov

Introduction: Roman Shirokov is the enfant terrible in Russian football. Ever since he entered professional football as a youngster for Torpedo Moscow by going on an unscheduled two months vacation and returning with a fake cast on his leg claiming to have a broken leg, he has attracted unwanted attention and created headlines everywhere he went. As a youngster, Shirokov had an unfortunate love of alcohol and cigarettes, and in an attempt to get some discipline into the midfielder, his … [Read more...]

Slutsky’s Choice Part III: Midfielders

Moving on from the back line, in our third part of ‘Slutsky’s Choice’ we examine Russia’s midfield. Throughout the history of the national team, the midfield often possessed the most talented players. Following the days of the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Mostovoi, Andrei Kanchelskis, and Valeri Karpin functioned as the engine feeding strikers Igor Kolyvanov and Vladimir Beschastnykh. The modern midfield helped Russia qualify for a third straight tournament containing a deep pool of talented … [Read more...]

Russia’s Seven Best Winter Signings

Jonathan Mensah FROM Evian TO Anzhi Makhachkala It was no surprise to see Anzhi sign a central-defender in the winter window. After all, they do have the worse defence in the league. What is surprising is the calibre of player they have signed in Jonathan Mensah - not to be mistaken for John Mensah. Experience is what Anzhi need and that is what they have got in Mensah. 36 caps for Ghana includes appearances at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cup. He also played every minute of the Black … [Read more...]

Trophy Lifting or Trench Digging for Roman Shirokov?

”Everyone did as they were told. I didn’t fit in, not at all. I thought, just enjoy the opportunity, don’t confirm their prejudices. So, I started to adapt and blend in. I became way too nice. It was mental. Zlatan was no longer Zlatan.” This is how Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic described his time at FC Barcelona in his brilliant book I Am Zlatan from 2013. A few days ago, the Russian national team captain Roman Shirokov joined CSKA Moscow after being released by arch rivals Spartak. … [Read more...]

Spartak’s Winter Tasks

With the transfer window being almost three weeks old, and Spartak Moscow being in United Arab Emirates on their first training camp this winter, the fans are starting to wonder what’s happening regarding transfers. The disappointing results in the autumn led General Director Sergei Rodionov to talk about a smaller spring cleaning in the squad during the winter, with up to six players leaving the club. So far, there have only been a few official announcements while the rumours are … [Read more...]

RFN Top 50 – 35-21

Find the players from 50 to 36 here. 35. Vasiliy Berezutskiy, defender, CSKA At the age of 33, Vasiliy Berezutskiy exudes old-pro calmness and confidence on the pitch. The former national side captain has been an extremely important figure in the CSKA defence for over a decade, being named one of the 33 best players in the league an extremely creditable nine times. The Moscow-born man sits atop the RPL table with the Army Men despite recent poor results. With the side now out of European … [Read more...]

European Championships 2016 – Group B Preview

Russian Football News has joined forces with various other football websites to give you the experts' view on European Championship 2016 Group B which contains England, Russia, Slovakia and Wales. Each team will feel they have a chance of progressing to the knockout rounds this summer in France. Our experts in this preview are: Russia: Thomas Giles - Writer and podcast host for Russianfootballnews.com as well as contributing to Sport Den za Dnem. @thomas_giles_uk England: Tom Coast - … [Read more...]

Russia’s Biggest Free Transfer Steals

Everyone who has played Football Manager knows that towards the end of December, you should start looking for players whose contracts expire at the end of the season in order to sign players without having to pay their clubs. Last season saw Artyom Dzyuba move from Spartak Moscow to arch rivals Zenit St. Petersburg on a free transfer, and this season we could also be in for some big-name moves as several famous players are nearing the end of their contracts. With the Russian foreigner … [Read more...]

Five Things Russia’s Recent Friendlies Taught Us

After securing qualification for next summer’s Euro, Leonid Slutsky had his first chance to experiment a bid during Russia's two friendlies against Portugal and Croatia. Slutsky had to do without a couple of experienced players, as both Aleksandr Kokorin and Vasiliy Berezutskiy were out with injuries, which challenged the coach to find new options. When Russia took on Portugal in Krasnodar Saturday evening, Slutsky fielded his strongest possible line-up, something that payed off as the match … [Read more...]