A football capitol travel, Spartak, CSKA, Dynamo, Torpedo and Lokomotiv Moscow

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Looking at the clubs of Moscow there are many, but we will in this article set our eyes of the five with most history and still among the best. Football is the most popular sports in Russia, and their best players stays at home, though we have had a few players seen abroad, but they have not settled as well as expected with a few seen in English football.

The first player to remember is the goalkeeper Dmitri Kharine, who starred for Chelsea for a number of seasons, being at Stamford Bridge from 1992 to 1999, and with a previous career at three different Moscow clubs, Dynamo, Torpedo and CSKA. He won the FA Cup, EFL Cup and UEFA Cup with Chelsea and ranked among the top ten goalkeepers at the club all time.

Another player from Russia that set a bit mark on his presence in England was Andrey Arshavin who also spent a number of seasons based in London with Arsenal. Played for The Gunners over a period of four years from 2009 to 2013. Adding up 105 league appearances as well as 23 goals.

The third player of Russia to influence Premier League action was Tottenham forward Roman Pavlyuchenko, who appeared for Spurs from 2008 to 2012, but never really managed to win a secure first team place in the first team, playing only 78 league games in which he scored 20 goals. He did represent Spartak and Lokomotiv among a long list of football clubs.

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As we look at the five clubs mentioned in the header, we will start with Spartak, a club seen as the working mans football club, and the most popular of clubs in the capitol. They are top tier club but has struggled a bit with only won big trophy win since the 90’s. They have won the league title 22 times, with their last league winning trophy coming in the 2016-17. Spartak play in red and white colours, and are located in the north west of the capitol district, playing their home games at Otkritie Stadium.

The next club on our list is CSKA. A top tier club and also one of the major clubs in Russia. Winning their last league trophy in 2015-16. Their home ground is the VEB Arena, located a bit closer to the city of Moscow, but also north west. They are playing in a claret and blue striped shirt, blue shorts. One of their greatest players of all time is the Brazilian Vagner Love. He was a key player from 2004 to 2011. Made a short return for a second period in 2013. Vagner Love played a total of 172 league games, scoring 85 goals, winning the league with CSKA three times, 2005, 2006 and 2012/13. The total amount of league titles for CSKA are 13. They are also the first Russian club to win a European title, taking home the UEFA Cup in 2005. CSKA used to be the official football team of the Sovjet army.

Dynamo Moscow is the blue and white alternative. They are also based north west, playing their home games at VTB Arena. Dynamo were during the Sovjet period seen with close connections to the KGB and a club related to those people following and giving their support. This was also the club of the famous and mythical goalkeeper Lev Yashin. He represented the club during all his years in football, playing 326 league games in twenty seasons, from 1950 to 1970. Dynamo Moscow has been crowned champions of the Russian league 11 times, but not been up there at the top of the ladder since 1976.

Lokomotiv Moscow is the fourth representative of the capitol in the top tier. The are seen in dark green shirts with red shorts. The have from time to time managed good results in Europe, reaching semi-finals and group stages in those competitions. Their league trophy hunt is more modest with only three titles, but the last one coming not longer ago than the 2017/18 season.

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Lokomotiv play they home games at RZD Arena, located in the north east area of the city. The stadium have capacity of 27 084 and the name seen in close agreement with a sponsorship of the Russian Railway, and with them closely attached and nicknamed Loko or Parovozy, you have a long relation between the two as their historical tracks goes back to the start of the club being basically a club for men employed in transport and the Russian / Sovjet railway.

The fifth club with a long tradition located in the capitol are Torpedo, at the moment competing at tier two in the league pyramid, and at this moment fliying high after 13 games staying second. The club was among the best during the Sovjet era both domestic and in Europe, but has since had difficulties to establish a good financial structure with different problems occuring in their Russian years.

The club was in 2006, for the first time, relegated from the top tier, and just been back once, 2014/15, where they again suffered relegation. But with a good start to this season it might be possible yet again to return to the best party.

The three times winner of the Russian league has in recent year gone through a transition changing names with different owners coming in but eventually in the late 90’s they were renamed again Torpedo Moscow and has since been known and seen as the original.

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Of course a number of real legends from the past eras for these five clubs, but today we do also have a few to notice. Quincy Promes a Dutch international attacking midfielder, currently with Spartak, is among the highly rated. Another name that is seen in top of the list is Fyodor Chalov, only 23 years of age, playing for CSKA, with a good reputation, still early days with only three caps for Russia, but the forward will be grand in the years to come.

The Guinea forward Francois Kamano is the star name of Lokomotiv. 25 years of age and signed from Bordeaux a year ago. Exciting player with 7 goals in 34 top flight games so far. Dynamo do have a familier name in Fabian Balbuena who many might remember from his days with West Ham. The 30 year old defender is a pivotal player for his club. The Paraguay international is seen currently ranked among the better players of the Russian league.

Early doors yet in the new season, but at this point Dynamo are 2nd in the league four points behind high flying Zenit. Lokomotiv are currenlty 3rd and CSKA 5th with Spartak a bit behind the top, staying 8th among the total of 16 clubs in the top tier.


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