Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
All you need to know about Russian football
on 31 July 2008
Football in Russia is on the up. Oil money is flooding into club football meaning that the top teams can now compete on almost level terms with the Liverpools, Milans and Barcelona's of European football. The national team is thriving too. Under the shrewd guidance of Guus Hiddink Russia had an excellent European Championships despite surrendering weakly to the eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals.
But, like many aspects of Russian life, to many people Russian football is a bit of a mystery. Most football watchers will have heard of CSKA Moscow and Moscow Dynamo and they will have been impressed by the skills of the youthful Andrei Arshevin. If they are old enough, they will remember the great Lev Yashin and maybe Oleg Blokhin in the eighties but apart from that will probably know very little.
Not all aspects of Russian football are positive though. As well as the problems which are out of their control, for example, the harsh climate and the sheer vastness of the country makes attending an away match an ordeal, there are other 'man made' problems - accusations of match fixing are commonplace, racism is rife and hooliganism is widespread - that may eventuallly hold back the growth of the game in Russia.
In this book Marc Bennetts attempts to fill in the gaps in our knowledge and he succeeds. Although never an engrossing read it is quite entertaining as well as being highly informative.
This is an good introduction to Russian football.