Bukharov Returns to Sbornaya

When Aleksandr Bukharov received his debut for the Russian national team in October 2009, no one expected it would take him eight years to get his first start for Sbornaya, but it did. After receiving his debut against Azerbaijan in 2009, Bukharov finally got to start for the national team on Friday, when he delivered a disappointing performance as Russia lost 2-0 at home to Ivory Coast. When he played 26 minutes against Azerbaijan he was, at the age of 24, about to finish the best season of … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast – Dodgy Pitches, Crisis At Tom Tomsk And The Latest Aleksandr Kokorin Scandal

Host Thomas Giles is joined by usual guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint to discuss the recent suspension of matches at FC Rostov and Rubin Kazan as a result of their poor pitches following the uproar surrounding the issue in Rostov's Europa League clash against Manchester United. They then talk about the financial chaos at Tom Tomsk and question whether allowing them to continue in the Russian Premier League undermines the competition. Finally, Aleksandr Kokorin is back in the negative … [Read more...]

The importance of the Europa League and Russia’s standing in European Football

It goes against reason to argue that Russia deserves another Champions League spot given we’re coming off the back of one of their most dismal tournament performances to date, with both Premier League representatives exiting in the group stage prior to the winter break. However, despite their shortcomings in UEFA’s premier competition, the Russian Football Premier League is primed to overtake the Portuguese Primiera Liga in becoming Europe’s 6th best league and clinch another direct ticket to … [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...]

All aboard the Good Ship Anti-Russia

I don't know if it can be termed anti-Russian or anti-Russia as those lining up to take shots are a mix of both. The sentiment remains the same, Russia/Russian bad and we're going to prove it no matter what - even if there is no proof. It's a great time to turn rogue and go full on with the prevailing wind, it will make you money. And if you're good, it'll be regular. Fashionably Anti-Russia A writer on Russia, whom I respect and with pleasure co-operate with, had a chance to make some decent … [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...]

Preview: Sparta Prague – FC Rostov

Sparta Prague (0) v (4) Rostov, Thursday First Leg In the preview for the first leg in Russia, we asked whether Rostov could continue their European adventure, and it’s safe to say that Kurban Berdyev’s men replied in the perfect way. Goals from Miha Mevlja, Dmitry Poloz, Christian Noboa and Sardar Azmoun secured a 4-0 victory, which should be more than enough for Rostov to book a ticket to the next stage of the tournament. After 32 minutes, with the score 1-0 to the home team, … [Read more...]

FC Rostov – Sparta Prague Preview: Can the European Adventure Continue?

Following a long and boring winter break, FC Rostov are eager to get back to competitive football, and continue the impressive European campaign that has already seen them defeat Bayern Munich and finish third in their Champions League group ahead of PSV Eindhoven. Rostov face Czech giants Sparta Prague, and will have deliver their absolute best to avoid facing suffering defeat like FC Krasnodar did against the same opponents last season. Top strikers on a defensive team Although Rostov’s … [Read more...]

Russian Clubs Gear Up for European Fixtures

After two months’ break, the Europa League kicks off in two weeks, and three Russian clubs are still competing in the tournament. On February 1, Zenit St. Petersburg, FC Rostov and FC Krasnodar all registered their squad for the next legs in the tournament, and it’s time to take the temperature on the Russian contenders left in European football. FC Rostov Rostov impressed everyone by finishing third in the Champions League Group of Death behind Bayen Munich and Atletico Madrid but ahead of … [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...]