Barcelona 1-2 Rubin Kazan – The Greatest Giant Killing in European History?

In 2008 and 2009, FC Barcelona were at the top of the footballing world. They won every trophy available to them: La Liga, the Copa Del Rey, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. The squad that the Catalan's had put together under the management of Pep Guardiola is widely regarded as one of the best teams of all time with Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández at the peak of their careers, alongside stars such as Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Yaya Touré … [Read more...]

Yann M’Vila – Justice Denied

As I entered my 2nd full season in the management of a professional football club I was encountering some really strange moments. Not only had the newly elected club President tried to steal money set aside to repay investors, players and pay for a pre-season tour to Russia, but players were turning up at my home in shock as they were being told that agreed payment schemes were no longer valid. Rubin Kazan’s Yann M’Vila has been there and done that. What happened around me in Malta was very … [Read more...]

RFPL 2017/2018 – Who Has the Best Kit?

SKA-Khabarovsk Premier Liga newcomers, like some other teams, decided not to bother and use last year's kits. They probably figured that nobody saw it last season anyway, as the coverage of the FNL is almost criminally low. The kit itself is nothing special, but there is nothing to criticize either. I personally like their massive badge, which looks appropriate on this empty T-shirt. FC Tosno The club from the Leningrad Oblast, founded in 2013, still hasn't built its own identity. … [Read more...]

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...]

Evaluating the performance of Rubin’s €40m summer signings

Last summer Rubin Kazan spent €40m, according to Transfermarkt, on a whole host of big name signings from Europe, but it was to no avail as under the management of Spaniard Javi Gracia, Rubin struggled to finish in 9th place, with many of their signings -  though not all of them - failing to make an impact during the season. So just how well spent was that €40m? Alex Song - Free transfer from FC Barcelona Perhaps the most high profile of all the players who joined, with experience at … [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...]

RFN Podcast – New Owners for Rubin and Mancini joins Zenit

Host Thomas Giles is joined by regular guests Andrew Flint and Toke Theilade who discuss the new owners at Rubin Kazan as well as Roberto Mancini's appointment as Zenit St Petersburg manager. https://soundcloud.com/russian-football-news/5th-june-2017-new-owners-for-rubin-and-mancini-joins-zenit Do not forget to submit your questions to the panel on the comments section on here, via Twitter, E-mail russianfootballnews1@gmail.com or on the Facebook page. You can subscribe to the Russian … [Read more...]

Revolution in Kazan – A New Direction for Rubin

Rubin Kazan, the pride of Tatarstan, is no stranger to changes. Last summer, the club appointed Spaniard Javi Gracia from Malaga as new head coach, and they became Russia's biggest spenders as they brought in ten new players, including stars such as Alex Song from FC Barcelona and former Belgian prodigy Maxime Lestienne. Now the club has undergone a new revolution, and it is even more ambitious than the last. The appointment of Gracia was an attempt to westernise and advance the club to an … [Read more...]

Irish solution for a Russian problem – Russian League Realignment

I'll be slaughtered by friends at home over this, though I happen to think the 10 team Irish Premier Division is a decent idea. Stay with me. I think it's a good idea as we don't have enough talent or money to go around. We don't have enough fans to go around. I don't want to see a closed off League, though what happens with the First Division is equally as important to me. Yet in order to get football moving in Ireland, bringing in crowds, sponsors and players, a 10 team division is the best … [Read more...]