RFPL Round 20: Results & Team of the Week

Week 20 in the RFPL marks the end of the Apertura, and the Winter Break is finally upon us. Unlike in Western Europe, this is actually a longer pause of play than in the summer, so expect some major overhauls and transfer dealings. Zenit St. Petersburg are getting their business done already just today confirming the signing of Anton Zabolotny on a three and a half year deal from local 'rivals' Tosno. The striker did not play for Tosno at the weekend, who lost 3-1 at home to league leaders … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Liverpool FC – Spartak Moscow

Liverpool FC v Spartak Moscow – Wednesday, 6 December, 19:45 GMT – Anfield, Liverpool. Spartak Moscow fans, players and officials will be hoping for an old-school mid-90s result on Wednesday night as they faceoff against Liverpool in a direct shootout for a Champions League knockout spot. All three of Liverpool, Sevilla and Spartak are still able to win Group E, in what promises to be an exciting final day showdown. How do they achieve this? For Spartak it's simple, but once again I'll hand … [Read more...]

Russian Clubs’ European Permutations

It's been a great European season for the Russian clubs so far. Four out of the five participants, with the exception being FC Krasnodar, reached the group stage, where they have performed quite well, and three of them have already secured Europa League knockout spots. Moreover, both Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow still have chances to advance to the Champions League knockout stage, though to guarantee that, they both need big wins in England. Here's a brief rundown on all the European … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Spartak Moscow – NK Maribor

Spartak are looking to progress to beyond the group stage for the first time since the legendary Oleg Romantsev was in charge, and in order to do so must defeat Maribor today. Maribor have conceded 13 goals without scoring since their opening goal in the previous game, but Spartak have now gone 16 games in Europe without a clean sheet, and have only played out two 0-0 draws from 26 games in all competitions this season. In fact, both teams have scored in 19 of these games. Maribor have never … [Read more...]

Nikita Simonyan: How the son of an Armenian illegal immigrant became the ‘Grandfather of Russian Football’

245 matches, 160 goals, 0 yellow card and 0 red cards. These statistics are but a microcosm of Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan’s career for Spartak Moscow. Simonyan was as a player, manager, club ambassador and, above all else, still is a keen supporter of Spartak Moscow, and throughout this time has acted as a humble sportsman, functionary and gentleman. Upon celebrating his 90th birthday last season, the club hosted him as a honoured guest and invited him onto the pitch before the match with FC … [Read more...]

Spartak Moscow – Lokomotiv Moscow: Match Report and Press Conferences

Spartak Moscow - Lokomotiv Moscow 3-4 (2-0) Spartak Moscow: Selikhov - Eschenko, Tasci, Bocchetti, Kombarov - Glushakov, Pašalić (Fernando, 72), Samedov, Ananidze (Melgarejo, 46), Promes - Luiz Adriano. Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme - Ignatyev, Kverkvelia, Pejcinovic, Rybus (V. Denisov, 46) - I. Denisov, Barinov (Kolomeitsev, 78), Tarasov (An. Miranchuk, 46) - Al. Miranchuk, Fernandes, Farfán. Goals: Glushakov, 30 - 1:0. Luiz Adriano, 43 - 2:0. Barinov, 48 - 2:1. Al. Miranchuk, 68 - 2:2. … [Read more...]

New Stadia’s Impact on Attendances in the RFPL

Low attendances in the RFPL have been the subject of much debate and despair. People have put forth many different reasons for the poor league attendance, which has hovered around 11,000 per match for the last few years. In comparison, the Bundesliga averages 41,000 per match, and the English Premier League averages 35,000 per match. Some say that the quality of the league is too low, while others, including then-Sbornaya coach Leonid Slutsky, claim that Russia is simply not a footballing … [Read more...]

Interview with Maksym Kalynychenko, Part Two: The FNL, Spartak under Oleg Romantsev, and more.

Maksym Kalynychenko, who played for Spartak Moscow from 2000-2008 sat down with Alexey Spektrowski in collaboration with our friends over at ProSpartak. Here we present Part Two of the interview in English, where the pair discusses the state of the FNL and Maksym's experiences of traveling throughout Russia, Soviet Football including the work and life of Nikolai Starostin and Oleg Romantsev's dominant Spartak Moscow side in the 1990s. Make sure to read Part One first, … [Read more...]

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...]