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...]

Season Preview: FC Rostov

What a difference 12 months makes. Last summer, Rostov were flying higher than they’d ever done before having qualified for their first Champions League campaign and only missed out on the title by a single goal, with arguably Russian football’s best tactician masterminding success from the sidelines. Fast forward to 2017, and their entire project is crumbling to pieces; 13 players (at the time of writing) have left the club, Kurban Berdyev has returned to his former home in the Rubin Kazan, and … [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...]

Kazan Arena Review – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

“Wow that screen is massive!” my friend exclaimed as soon as we stepped out of the taxi and got our first view of the Kazan Arena and the screen on the outside of the stadium, facing the arriving fans. Kazan Arena is not only one of the stadiums that has been built for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia but also is one of the chosen four stadiums that will host games for the Confederations Cup this coming June. This means that in less than 3 months Kazan will host teams such as Germany, Chile, … [Read more...]

Maxime Lestienne and Alex Song Face Disciplinary Action in Kazan

The leading players from Rubin Kazan are prepared to send their expensive newcomers to the reserve team. The patience of the leaders is over. After the first defeat of 2017 away to Ural, the situation in Rubin has heated up. The clubs veteran leaders, Sergey Ryzhikov, Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Oleg Kuzmin on Wednesday arranged a squad meeting arranged to discuss the behaviour of Maxime Lestienne and Alex Song. The situation heated up so much, that manager Javi Gracia had to cancel morning … [Read more...]