Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Despite the critical and sometimes derisive attitude of Russians to football and football players, this sport still remains very popular in our country. In the end, probably, every boy at least once in his life, and even chased the ball with friends in the yard. And such names as Lev Yashin, Igor Akinfeev, Andrei Arshavin and many others have long entered the world football hall of fame.
Therefore, there are a lot of football clubs in Russia. It is not only Spartak and Dynamo, whose names have long been heard. In this article, we have collected the 10 most popular football clubs in Russia so that you know who to root for in the next championship.
Rating of the most popular football clubs in Russia
|Nomination||a place||football club||popularity rating|
|10 most popular football clubs in Russia||10||'Akhmat', Grozny||4.1|
|8||'Wings of the Soviets', Samara||4.3|
|4||'Zenith', St. Petersburg||4.7|
The football club 'Akhmat', based in the city of Grozny, Chechen Republic, won the Russian Cup in 2003-2004. True, at that time it was called 'Terek'. But this is already particular, since this football club regularly changes its name. For example, under the Soviet Union, it was also called “Dynamo” and “Oilman”.
It received a new name 'Akhmat' only in 2017 – in honor of Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov. And it was the 2003-2004 Russian Cup that brought him the greatest popularity. In the final, the football club had to fight with the 'Wings of the Soviets' – but thanks to Fedkov's professionalism, the team from Grozny won with a score of 1: 0.
There are several more victorious matches in the 'recent history' of Akhmat. Since 2007, the club has been confidently in the Russian Premier League, and in 2017 it took the highest mark in its history, taking 5th place in the rating table.
Rostov football club 'Rostov' is one of the oldest in Russia. It was founded in 1930! Nevertheless, there are no particularly big victories or championship titles in his history.
So, the highest achievement in local competitions was the silver medal at the 2015-2016 Russian Championship. But FC Rostov in the 2016-2017 season entered the 1/8 of the Europa League. In the decisive match, he had to fight the 'red devils' 'Manchester United' and save face – the fight ended in a 1: 1 draw.
Nevertheless, Rostov left the Europa League, still losing to Manchester United in the return leg – with a minimum score of 0: 1. Thanks to this, the Russian football club got 15 points in the final coefficient table.
Another interesting feature of this football club is that its home stadium is the famous Rostov Arena. The one whose construction was completed in 2018, right before the World Cup. And on which there were several matches of the 2018 World Cup.
'Wings of the Soviets', Samara
Samara football club 'Krylia Sovetov' practically did not take prizes in the championships. However, it hosts a huge number of games, making it surprisingly popular.
In the 'assets' of the club from Samara – a bronze place at the 2004 Russian Championship and a 'silver' at the 2004 Russian Cup. There are also some other achievements obtained in Soviet times. The fact is that the history of Wings of the Soviets begins in 1942, and for more than 75 years of its existence, this club has managed to take part in a huge number of competitions. For example, he even was 'listed' in European competitions, and football player Anton Bober played 10 matches in the games of the UEFA tournament.
The Wings of the Soviets are loved by fans too. So, in the 2018-2019 season, each match of this football club was attended by an average of 19 thousand spectators! This influx of fans is largely due to the new stadium. Since 2018, after the corresponding World Championship, Wings of the Soviets have been training and playing at the Samara Arena.
Kazan club 'Rubin' boasts quite a large number of titles and awards. Moreover, in 2009 the Russian Football Union named him the best team of the year, which means a lot. On the shelves of Rubin you can find such achievements as the titles of the champion of Russia in 2008 and 2009; Russian Cup 2012; Russian Super Cups 2010 and 2012.
Much of Rubin's accomplishments came when the club was run by coach Kurban Berdyev. It came in late 2001 and lasted twelve years. However, at first, Rubin was constantly losing. But then, after acquiring new players, in 2009 and later the club began to receive one award after another.
In 2014, Berdyev was replaced by a new coach – and the team began to lose again. So, in the 2015-2016 championship, the club won six defeats out of seven games. As a result, even the Acting President of the Republic of Tatarstan invited the new coach to voluntarily leave his post.
However, even the change of coach and the return of Berdyev did not bring Rubin to the desired result. One of the most famous, popular and strongest teams of the 00s nowadays barely goes beyond home games.
National glory and love came to the Moscow club 'Torpedo' in Soviet times – the team was able to win the USSR Cup 6 times and the USSR champion 3 times. True, in the future her fate was not so rosy. So, the club won the 1993 Russian Cup – that's all.
The “absence” of a Moscow football club in recent history is primarily due to financial difficulties. In the 90s, he 'wandered' from hand to hand, regularly changing the owner and location of deployment, and in the early 00s, due to an acute lack of budget, he even left the top division.
As a result, it took several years to return to the domestic football pantheon. Only starting in 2013, 'Torpedo' entered the major professional leagues. In the 2018-2019 season, the club plays in the PFL and FNL, while showing records. So, 'Torpedo' managed to play a series of 21 matches, never having suffered a defeat!
Everything suggests that the 'Torpedo' will soon again become one of the leaders of domestic football.
The Moscow football club Lokomotiv, currently owned by Russian Railways and representing the railway industry, is not only one of the oldest teams in Russian sports. On his account – three Super Cups of Russia, eight Cups of Russia, three titles of the Champion of Russia.
In the current season, he received a silver medal in the Russian Championship 2018-2019.
But, of course, Lokomotiv's story does matter. After all, this club is almost ready to celebrate the centenary! It was founded in 1922 at the same time as the opening of the Moscow-Kazan railway line, and was originally named in honor of this route – 'Kazanka'. But he changed the name very often. However, the Kazanka team still exists – and this is the Lokomotiv farm club.
An important feature of Lokomotiv is its 'inconstancy'. The club conducts large-scale transfers after each season. Therefore, he enters the new championships with the teams of the strongest players. Lokomotiv buys out not only Russian, but also foreign players – for example, in the 2018 offseason, the FC was replenished with German Benedict Hövedes, Pole Grzegorz Krychowiak, Portuguese Eder and Nigerian Brian Idowu.
In general, this behavior can be easily explained. Lokomotiv is owned by the commercial company Russian Railways, whose main task is to make a profit. Therefore, the club will gather the most famous, strong and experienced footballers, regardless of their country of origin.
'Zenith', St. Petersburg
A favorite of Petersburgers and personally of Mikhail Boyarsky, the Zenit football club is one of the most famous teams in Russia. And this is not surprising. On account of 'Zenith' – UEFA Super Cup 2008; UEFA Cup 2008; Premier League Cup 2003; four Russian Super Cups; three Russian Cups; and five titles of the Champion of Russia.
However, in the 'newest football history' at 'Zenith' not everything is so smooth. The problems began in 2014, when Andre Villas-Boas became the coach of the FC. He has a history of working with such famous teams as Tottenham and Chelsea, but with Zenit he was a little unlucky.
Under the leadership of Villash-Boash, Zenit was able to get a silver medal in the 2013-2014 Russian Championship. In the Europa League, he was able to reach only 1/8, where he was eliminated after a fight with Sevilla. Then the team lost Arshavin and Kerzhakov. In the future, the coaches changed almost every year, and as a result, Zenit was “balancing” between oblivion and glory. And only after the return of coach Semak, FC was able to acquire its long-awaited award – to become the winner of the Russian Championship 2018-2019.
Zenit is one of the oldest FC in Russia. It was founded in 1925. Now its main sponsor is Gazprom, and its home stadium is Gazprom Arena.
Dynamo Moscow football club is known primarily for its glorious past. He has a huge number of awards – 19 cups! However, 18 of them were obtained during the Soviet Union.
Indeed, since 1991, Dynamo has been actively present in the sports information field, but practically does not win any victories. So, he has only one modern award – the Cup of Russia 1994-1995. Dynamo plays in the Russian Football Premier League, trying to occupy the top lines of the standings. However, the club often ends up at the bottom. For example, in the 2018-2019 season, Dynamo was on the 12th line of the standings, where it moved from 8th place in the previous season.
This situation makes Dynamo not a very active player in the transfer market. Major transfers take place with Russian clubs – the team accepts athletes from other clubs within the country.
However, it is worth noting that it was for Dynamo that many iconic footballers of the past played – Lev Yashin, Alexander Novikov, Alexander Makhovikov and others.
The Moscow (or rather, the All-Russian, simply based in Moscow) football club CSKA was able to collect all the domestic trophies, as well as the European one. The team's assets include six titles of the Champion of Russia, seven Cups of Russia, the Super Cup of Russia, the UEFA Cup, as well as several awards from the times of the USSR. Moreover, CSKA is one of the oldest clubs. It was founded in 1911, so it celebrated its centenary long ago and successfully.
CSKA is one of the few Russian football clubs that survived the 00s without any problems. Then Valery Gazaev became the coach of the team. And between 2001 and 2008, CSKA received most of its contemporary awards.
Later, however, the fate of CSKA was not so impressive. The place of the head coach of the club was taken by the Brazilian Zico. The team performed successfully, successfully, but did not achieve special results. The period from 2008 to 2018 has been called the 'era of stability', when CSKA had neither impressive defeats nor dizzying victories.
In 2018, the contracts of many CSKA players ended – and they did not renew them. Other athletes simply announced their retirement, and Sergei Ignashevich did go to the number of coaches. As a result, the club almost completely renewed the composition of the team – and with new players was able to beat Real Madrid twice. But not too successfully – CSKA left the Champions League anyway.
1st place: 'Spartak', Moscow
The same club whose name is associated with Russian football, Spartak Moscow boasts the largest number of titles in the country. So, among the modern awards, he owns 10 titles of champion of Russia, 3 Cups of Russia, 1 Super Cup of Russia, 6 Cups of the Commonwealth. He also reached the semi-finals for the UEFA Cup, European Cup and Cup Winners' Cup. He also has 22 awards from the times of the USSR.
Nevertheless, despite the huge number of modern awards, for a long time in the history of Russia, the Spartak club generally existed without trophies. The 'black streak' for the team began in 2004 at the same time as Leonid Fedun took over. A change of coaches, footballers, home stadium began … And as a result, 'Spartak' existed for 13 years without a single trophy.
The first award for such a long period went to the team at the Russian Championship 2016-2017. A few months before that, the club changed its coach again – it was the Italian Massimo Carrera. In addition, in 2014 Spartak moved to a new home stadium – Otkrytie Arena.
And in the end, these two changes led the team to success. Moreover, in 2018, Spartak won the Super Cup again – and this was the first time that FC received this award. In the 2017-2018 season, Moscow FC took third place in the Russian Championship, and in the 2018-2019 season – only fifth.
In addition, Spartak is one of the oldest FC in Russia. Its history began in 1922. Now the main sponsor of the team is Lukoil, and the home stadium is the Moscow site Otkrytie Arena.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.