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...]

Russian Transfers – Homeward Bound

Each year we read the same nonsense with Russian transfers. XXXX is on the way to an English or German club. It's a done deal. It's in the final stages. A month ago CSKA Moscow's Golovin was about to join Arsenal. That was June 10th. Three days later the same news outlet reported Arsenal's Russian scout, Pavel Kucherov, said He is not talented enough for the European level and it’s unrealistic to discuss his transfer to a top Premier League club. Fanboys and journos went into overdrive with a … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Does Russian Football Make Average Foreigners Look Good?

When Zenit St. Petersburg signed Yoann Mollo from Krylia Sovetov earlier this year, both Zenit fans and observers from Mollo's home nation France raised their eyebrows. The fans of Zenit thought that Mollo was not at the level of their club, only shining at Krylia as he was the focal point in their counter attacking style of play, and therefore took the lead in most of their attacking play. French observers, fans of his former club Saint Etienne, for example, struggled to believe that a player … [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...]

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...]