Editorial: Structural Problems are the Reasons for Russia’s Early Exit

Three games, one victory and a quick exit. That was the result of Russia’s first major tournament on home soil, the Confederations Cup. The quick exit naturally let to discussions about who was to blame for the failure of once again not making it out the group stage, but head coach of Sbornaya, Stanislav Cherchesov, was quick to end these discussions. “This is my mistake,” he said in the press conference after the final game against Mexico, which was lost 2-1, and continued: “I will take it upon … [Read more...]

Russia and the Cursed Group Stage

Come Saturday evening it was clear. After losing 2-1 at home in Kazan to Mexico, the group stage had once again been the last stop for Russia at an international tournament. The group stage is slowly turning into somewhat of a curse for Sbornaya, and not even the home field advantage could break this spell. In fact, since Russia participated for the first time in an international tournament under its own flag at the World Cup in 1994, it has only managed to advance from the group once, back … [Read more...]

Confederations Cup Preview: Russia – Mexico

After losing to Portugal earlier this week, Russia travel back to Kazan, where they also played against New Zealand, with the need to beat Mexico in order to emerge from the group stages of the Confederations Cup. A draw will be enough to take Mexico through and a point would only suffice for Russia in the unlikely event that New Zealand beat Portugal. Last time out The hosts are in danger of missing out on a semi-final spot after losing 1-0 to Portugal in Moscow. Cristiano … [Read more...]

What Can the World Expect from Sbornaya at the Confederations Cup?

When Russia  take on New Zealand in St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon, it will be the culmination of a long year with Stanislav Cherchesov as head coach. Since his appointment after the failed Euros, Cherchesov has worked hard on assembling a team that could bring glory to Russia on home ground by the World Cup in 2018, and the Confederations Cup is the first real test of the level of the Russian national team, also known as Sbornaya. Cherchesov’s men have warmed up at a training camp … [Read more...]

Cherchesov’s Old Grudges Hinders Russia’s Chances at the Confederations Cup

When head coach of the Russian national team Stanislav Cherchesov announced his preliminary squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup on May 15, it surprised many that Lokomotiv Moscow's Igor Denisov had been overlooked. The 33-year-old UEFA Cup winner just finished one of his personal best seasons in a long time, and at the beginning of this month, he even scored the winning goal in the cup final against FC Ural. Nevertheless, Cherchesov overlooked him, instead opting for his teammate Dmitry … [Read more...]

Reactions to Russia’s Confederations Cup Preliminary Squad

Following the announcement of Russia’s provisional 30-man squad for the Confederations Cup, Russian Football News has taken a look at some of the best reactions. Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov was philosophical in explaining why up-and-coming goalkeeper Nikita Medvedev from FC Rostov did not make the squad. He said, “You know, there is a train. Players get onto the train via the last carriage and make their way to the VIP carriage by going through the whole train. You cannot just skip to … [Read more...]

Calling Time on Cherchesov’s Reign

Stop all the clocks. Call time at the bar. The final whistle has sounded after another lacklustre performance by the Russian national side and this time no one should be covering their ears. The alarm has finally rung for Stanislav Cherchesov and it should signal his imminent departure. Patience has been exhausted. Hope has been abandoned. Not even the most ardent fans of Sbornaya can dismiss what took place on Friday evening. When disgrace gave way to disgust as the most listless, … [Read more...]

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...]

Preview: Russia v Ivory Coast

Ahead of this week's friendly with Ivory Coast in Krasnodar, we've teamed up with Salim Said from African football website Sandals for Goalposts to give us the lowdown on Les Elephants, while we consider Sbornaya's prospects, three games from this summer's Confederations Cup. Russia On the back of a humbling away defeat to Qatar and a mediocre, dare I say lucky victory over Romania back in November, Russia embark on March’s brace of internationals against Ivory Coast and Belgium in … [Read more...]

Is Stan the Man to Lead Russia?

Whenever I watch the Russian national side nowadays, I’m oddly reminded of the X-Files. This isn’t a parallel most would readily form. While Russian football can be, and often is, likened to some of the country’s greatest and most tragic novels, why would the current national scene be reminiscent of an American sci-fi series that had its peak in the mid-nineties? Because, friends, like Fox Mulder, the beleaguered protagonist of the X-Files, I too want to believe. I want to believe that by 2018 a … [Read more...]