Russian National Team: signs of progress towards 2018 World Cup

Despite losing 0-1 against Argentina at the Luzhniki and drawing 3-3 with Spain at the Stadium St. Petersburg, an optimistic aura seems to surround the Russian national team. It is now abundantly clear that under Stanislav Cherchesov, Sbornaya is finally starting to come together, play with an apparent identity, and most importantly, pick up results. Eighteen months ago in France, Russia was a team devoid of an identity, packed with ageing stars of former glories in their twilight years. The … [Read more...]

International Preview: Russia – Spain

The match against Argentina was a promising performance, undone by some genuine quality and a glaringly obvious missed offside decision. Post-match, not quite the promising and more of the horrendous, with reports of overcrowding and over 1.5-hour queues and to get out of the Luzhniki and onto the Moscow Metro. Let's hope the game against Spain on Tuesday goes off without a hitch and proves the authorities are ready to organise the logistics of the World Cup next year. The team landed in St … [Read more...]

Valery Karpin and that infamous day in the summer of 1990

“When I arrived there, the team was… they had escaped relegation in the last match of the previous season. It was unthinkable what we had done in five years. It was Celta’s golden era…” - Valery Karpin (2015) Valery Karpin joined Celta de Vigo back in 1997, three years after landing in Spain to play for Real Sociedad. An excellent second season at San Sebastian with Javier Irureta’s Sociedad side worked as a stepping stone for a somewhat unconvincing one-year adventure at Valencia before … [Read more...]

The Russian Revolution at Sarrià

The 1991-92 campaign certainly causes mixed feelings to RCD Espanyol supporters. The departure of Head Coach Luís Aragonés at the end of the previous season had left “Los Pericos” adrift in their own sea of madness and the club’s board ended up deciding to bring in Ljubomir Petrovic as his replacement. “Ljupko” Petrovic arrived in Spain with an European Cup in his trophy cabinet after leading FK Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) to glory a few months before in Bari (Italy) against the … [Read more...]

Amir Natcho – Russia’s Next Superstar?

When the 18 year old Russian Amir Natcho moved to FC Barcelona’s famous youth academy, La Masia, before this season, he sought to continue a long and proud tradition of Russian midfielders in Spain’s La Liga. This tradition started in the 1990s when geniuses like Aleksandr Mostovoi and Valery Karpin impressed Spanish football fans. These days Villarreal’s Denis Cheryshev, despite his position on the wing, is keeping the tradition alive until we, hopefully, see Natcho in La Liga within the next … [Read more...]