Spartak Moscow – Lokomotiv Moscow Super Cup Preview

As usual, the Russian football season kicks off with the annual Super Cup game between the league champions and the cup winners. This season the game is between local rivals Spartak Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow, and it is set to be a hotly contested affair, while the intensity of the match on the pitch should be matched by the intensity in the stands. The newly renovated Lokomotiv Stadium is the venue for the match, and all officials involved are expecting a sellout crowd of around 27,000, which … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Spartak Moscow

Since the elation of last season’s championship win, Massimo Carrera has understandably kept a steady ship during the 2017/18 off-season, overseeing merely two incomings and sanctioning only two senior departures, at the time of writing. The club’s first Russian title in sixteen years may have been a long and agonising drought, but was worth the wait for the fans of the Red-Whites, with the victory Spartak’s 10th Russian championship victory, extending the club’s record as the most successful … [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...]

Massimo Carrera – Russia’s New Champion

It is often said that it is always darkest before the dawn.  That has certainly been the case this season for Spartak Moscow. When the club was eliminated in the Third Qualifying Round of the Europa League after losing 1-0 at home to Cypriot minors AEK Larnaca on 4th August, it seemed that the Red-Whites were in for yet another chaotic and underwhelming season. This opinion was only strengthened when the owner Leonid Fedun promptly sacked head coach and club legend Dmitry Alenichev after the … [Read more...]

Reactions to Spartak’s First Championship in 16 Years

Spartak Moscow have won the Premier League for the first time in 16 years. On Saturday, a Quincy Promes goal secured a 1-0 win over Tom Tomsk, who were subsequently relegated, and the next day Zenit St. Petersburg fell to a shock 1-0 home defeat to Terek Grozny. The results mean that Massimo Carrera’s men are ten points clear of second-placed CSKA Moscow with just three games left. The Italian, who only took charge of Myaso in August, became the first foreign manager in Spartak’s … [Read more...]

Nikolai Starostin: My Football Years (chapter 7) – The Consistency of Mastery

Nikolai Petrovich Starostin (1902-1996) was a Soviet football player and official. He was the co-founder of Spartak Moscow, which turned into the most popular club in the USSR and Russia, and worked as its head administrator for most of his life. Starostin is considered one of the most legendary and universally revered figures of Soviet football. In 1986, he published the book ‘My Football Years’ with Lev Filatov, and even well into his eighties, he retained a keen understanding of the game, … [Read more...]

RFN Friday Quiz: Football in Moscow

It is Friday once again, and as usual that means that you get the opportunity to prove just how much, or little, you know about Russian football. With the CSKA - Spartak Derby coming this weekend, the focus of this quiz is on football in the capital of Russia. But enough talk, it is time to test your knowledge. Let us know your score, either by tweeting us or simply comment on this post.   … [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...]

Nikolai Starostin: My Football Years (chapter 6) – Club and Team

Nikolai Petrovich Starostin (1902-1996) was a Soviet football player and official. He was the co-founder of Spartak Moscow, which turned into the most popular club in the USSR and Russia, and worked as its head administrator for most of his life. Starostin is considered one of the most legendary and universally revered figures of Soviet football. In 1986, he published the book ‘My Football Years’ with Lev Filatov, and even well into his eighties, he retained a keen understanding of the game, … [Read more...]

Why Rostov Defeat Could Signal Bad Things to Come for Spartak Moscow

Saturday was supposed to be a day of celebration for Russian Football Premier League leaders Spartak Moscow. Not only did the popular head coach Massimo Carrera, who is about to bring home the first championship in 14 year, turn 53, but the Red-Whites also played away against FC Rostov in the league  in front of a sold out away section. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned for Myaso. The home side came into the game with five 0-0s in a row - a new RFPL record - slowly drifting … [Read more...]