Valery Gazzaev – The Ossetian Polymath

A polymath isn’t usually a word you use to describe a person associated with football, but in Valery Gazzaev’s case, an exception can definitely be made. Gazzaev scored more than a 100 goals as a player, made history as a manager, is often seen talking about reforms in Russian football and is a member of the Duma. Wherever the man goes, he makes an impact, which makes him one of the most revered figures in Russian football. Gazzaev was born in the Ossetian city of Ordzhonikidze (now … [Read more...]

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of CSKA Moscow’s UEFA Cup Victory

When CSKA Moscow, on the 18th of May, 2005, defeated Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Cup final, they secured themselves an eternal spot in the history of Russian football. Aleksei Berezutski, Yuri Zhirkov and Vagner Love all scored for the Army club, which gave them a comfortable 3-1 victory. Here, on the tenth anniversary of the victory, we look back at the first ever European title for a Russian club.   The Road to Lisbon: CSKA started their European campaign in the Champions League, … [Read more...]

So Long, Premier League

The Premier League fizzled out on Sunday afternoon. Three matches in Moscow barely drew 20,000 fans between them, CSKA and Zenit stumbled on the road after deciding the title race the week before. Krasnodar hosted the biggest game of the weekend, Kuban - Anzhi, with the home team needing a win to guarantee its first-ever place in the Europa League. Nearly 32,000 fans, possibly more according to eyewitnesses, celebrated a 1-0 victory over 3rd-place Anzhi. The biggest embarrassment came from … [Read more...]

Foreigners: Alania Vladikavkaz

I've always wanted to write something about foreign players in RPL teams. How important are they to the teams they represent, whether the clubs really need them and are there really too many foreigners in the league? So, there will be a lot of numbers and statistics, but I hope to paint a picture of the number of foreigners per team: This will be an ongoing series. Let's start from the bottom, with the clubs whose chances to stay in the league are very low. 16th place: Alania … [Read more...]

Murky Days Ahead

Russian football’s stability, uncertain in the best of times, looks even more suspect this weekend. One can’t help but pity Nikolay Tolstykh, Russian Football Union (RFU) president, as he tries to tackle the proposed Russian-Ukrainian United Championship, mounting debt, widespread corruption allegations and agent excesses. On Wednesday, the RFU reported that it had written to Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy giant, to ask if the company plans to resume its financial support for the … [Read more...]