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Russia’s Got Talent: Rubin Kazan style

Rubin Kazan, a club that has came out of nowhere, in Russia and now in Europe.  In 2001, Rubin Kazan were still plying their trade in the First Division of Russian football.  Now things are very different.

At the end of the 2001 season, Rubin Kazan appointed Kurban Berdyev to the helm on a permanent basis, as the season prior he shared the head coaching duties with Viktor Antikhovich.  This appointment has proved to be an undoubted success due to meteoric rise of Rubin Kazan over the past nine years.  A devout Muslim, Kurban Berdyev is never seen without his rosary beads in public, and it is his commitment to this one time ‘lower league’ Russian club, that they find themselves mixing it with Europe’s big boys.

Despite some brief cameo appearances in Europe in 2003 and 2004 in the UEFA Cup and the Intertoto Cup respectively, Rubin Kazan were newcomers to the hysteria that surrounds the UEFA Champions League.  By winning the Russian Premier League for the first time in their history, it gave Kurban Berdyev’s men a chance to play against some of the best teams in the world. 

Shock: Aleksandr Ryazantsev gives Rubin Kazan the lead against Barcelona at the Nou Camp

Unfortunately, the shock 2-1 win over Barcelona was the only real highlight for Rubin Kazan in a campaign that was ended by Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan.

“Even though we didn’t qualify, this has been an incredible experience for us” said Rubin Kazan coach Kurban Berdyev

The trials and tribulations of the Champions League proved to be too much for the Russian side but midfielder Christian Noboa believes, “the fact that we are in the Europa League is a good result”.  When Rubin Kazan drew Israeli side Hapoel Tel- Aviv in the last 32 of the Europa League, it was a chance for them to show what they were capable of in Europe’s secondary competition. 

Despite selling star striker, Alejandro Dominguez, to Valencia in the January transfer window, the Russians still possessed a potent strike force when it came to the first leg of their last 32 fronted by promising striker Alekzandr Bukharov. 

It only took fourteen minutes for the deadlock to be broken by Bukharov who finished neatly after being assisted by fellow Russian international Sergei Semak.  Hapoel Tel-Aviv offered little in terms of an attacking prowess early on which was capatalised on by the Russian side with Bukharov doubling the lead for the home side with another clinical finish.  Rubin Kazan were cruising now against an experienced European side in Hapoel Tel- Aviv but they were not finished yet as midway through the second half, their talismanic captain, Sergei Semak gave his side a crucial third goal.

Russian Talent: Alekzandr Bukharov was the two goal hero for Rubin Kazan in their 3-0 win over Hapoel Tel-Aviv

A comfortable win at home for the Russian champions meant that a solid defensive display in Israel would be enough to put them through to the last 16 of the competition.  That is what Rubin Kazan delivered despite some intense pressure from the Hapoel Tel-Aviv, especially from Brazilian Douglas Da Silva, but the Russians held firm for a 0-0 draw to book a tie against German side Wolfsburg who despite being in the bottom half of the Bundesliga, will test the credentials of this Russian side.

With a consistent nucleus of Russian talent forming the backbone of the Rubin Kazan side, it gives this club a chance of progressing far in the inaugural Euorpa League under the experienced guidance of coach Kurban Berdyev who, after nine years in charge, knows this upcoming club inside out.

If one team can, Rubin Kazan can.

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  1. gavh

    7 March, 2010 at 19:35

    A poor start in my view, doesn’t quite read right, but from then on it started to become increasingly interesting.

    I think you have done very well considering you chosen a small team in the name of Rubin Kazan, a team that some of us would struggle writing about.

    One thing though you could of added more on there upcoming tie against Wolfsburg instead of mentioning a lot about there previous game against Hapoel Tel-Aviv.

    I liked it however the start wasn’t that good than others i’m afraid.

  2. sillyboy1

    7 March, 2010 at 20:48

    I disagree about the start of my article, I think it adds impact, telling the reader that things have changed for this club over the past 10 years, onyl my opinion tho

  3. rickybutler

    7 March, 2010 at 22:40

    I have to agree with gavh to be honest as I didn’t think the opening paragraph was great either, but as he said it did get better as it went along.

    Overall I felt you glossed over the Champions League campaign a little too quickly as it was their first foray in that competition but a good title and I loved the last line too!

  4. sillyboy1

    7 March, 2010 at 22:43

    O well, 2 against 1 for the intro, and i am biased lol

    the comments are appreciated though as this competition is about improving yor writing, which is what will happen with constructive criticism like this

    Cheers guys

  5. juandeful

    10 March, 2010 at 18:12

    I agree it gets better as the article goes on, and by the end it is to a very high standard.

    But I just don’t think you quite gave the team the credit they deserved in their Champions League games, as they drew with Inter, and had another decent result against Barcelona I think.

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