Nikolai Starostin: My Football Years (Chapter 1)

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...]

Five Stars With a Past in Russian Football

Since the formation of the Russian Football Premier League in 1992, a long range of quality players have amazed fans around the country. However, with so many players coming through the ranks, some more memorable than others, others more profitable for bookmakers, it is easy to forget a couple, especially for people who don't follow the league closely. Therefore, we have dived into the history books to find five superstars you might not know played in Russia at some point in their … [Read more...]

Russian Club Owners: Leonid Fedun (Spartak Moscow) – A Dinamo Fan in Charge of Spartak Moscow

Ever since oil billionaire and oligarch Leonid Fedun bought the controlling stake in Spartak Moscow in 2003, he has been one of the most controversial figures in Russian football. Born in Kyiv in 1956, Leonid Arnoldovich Fedun grew up an avid supporter of the local side, Dinamo. As a young boy, he experienced the Blue-Whites dominate Soviet football, winning three consecutive domestic titles between 1966 and 1968, and in 1975 they became the first Soviet club to win a European title, as they … [Read more...]

Spartak Continue to Hoover Up the Russian Market

Having already signed arguably two of the most exciting young Russian prospects this winter in Aleksandr Selikhov and Georgiy Dzhikiya, as well as Russian international Aleksandr Samedov, Spartak Moscow look set to continue their cleaning up of the Russian market this transfer window. 21-year-old Anzhi Makhachkala left back Georgiy Tigiev is, according to Championat, set to join the current leaders of the Russian Football Premier League in a deal that’ll be announced shortly. With Evgeniy … [Read more...]

Carrera’s Catenaccio or Alenichev’s Authoritarianism?

Spartak Moscow is on the way to returning to the zenith of their powers; the team currently lead the way in this season’s Russian Football Premier League (RFPL), have arguably the best player and manager in the league, and are one of the economic powerhouses with a deep pool of oil money. Leonid Fedun has long been one of the richest oligarchs’s in Russian football through his status as the major shareholder (9.2%) of LUKoil, but for the first time since the demise of the great Oleg Romantsev, … [Read more...]

Aleksandr Samedov – From Spartak to Spartak

Although the confirmation of Aleksandr Samedov's signing for Spartak Moscow dragged out, the transfer has been an open secret for more than a month now. The transfer means the winger will once again play in the famous red and white colours after leaving the club in 2005. Samedov, who was one of Lokomotiv Moscow's most important players before joining Spartak, fell out with the Railroader's iconic Head Coach Yuri Semin after he took over the team following the club's presidential change in … [Read more...]

Spartak is Gearing Up for Championship Run

Two years ago, when the ruble crisis was at its highest, Spartak Moscow owner Leonid Fedun announced that the club would have to rely on young players in the future as the Red-Whites couldn’t afford expensive players like Dutch international Quincy Promes anymore. Two years later, things have changed for the better, and despite the Russian transfer window not officially opening before February, the People’s Team have already showed their muscle. Already in November they fought off Zenit … [Read more...]

RFN Top 50 2016: 3-1

3: Giuliano, Midfielder, Zenit (NEW ENTRY) No one really knew what to expect from the Brazilian when he joined Zenit before this season. After a couple of seasons in Ukraine with Dnipro Giuliano returned to Brazil in 2014, and left the public eye. When Zenit sold Hulk, many fans hoped for the club to replace him with a major signing, but Giuliano, who was brought in for €7 million, has done a better job than any marquee signing could ever do. Of course, it has been impossible for Giuliano … [Read more...]

A Look at the Current State of the RFPL

As the winter break neared, the main story in the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) was the exit of Leonid Slutsky from CSKA Moscow. Slutsky’s departure comes while his side is third in the league table, eight points off the leaders Spartak Moscow and struggling for form. He however leaves as the longest serving manager of the club and one of their most significant. Will Viktor Goncharenko be able to turn the CSKA around? Slutsky has managed the club for seven years since 2009, with 167 … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Spartak Moscow

Introduction Despite finishing 5th last season, Spartak Moscow’s board decided to trust Dmitry Alenichev this summer as he was allowed to keep his job. In the transfer market, they reinforced their wing options with Roman Zobnin, the central midfield with Fernando, the defence with Andrey Eschenko and Mauricio, and, most importantly, the coaching staff with assistant Massimo Carrera. However, after the Europa League exit to Cypriot minors AEK Larnaca, Alenichev was sacked, and Carrera was … [Read more...]