7 Players From Russia – With Skill

We were so impressed with Russia’s display yesterday, that we have selected 7 players from the Russian squad, any one of which would be great at Newcastle United.

Kevin – are you reading this?


Kevin Keegan – could do worse than buying Russian

We’ll include a photo of the players and a short bio.

All have been in Russia’s first team during Euro 2008, except the Berezutsky twins.

Here we go:


Igor Akinfeev, who is now just 22, broke into the CSKA starting lineup at the age of 17, and has been the first-choice goalkeeper at the club ever since.

He’s had a great career so far and has various honors including a UEFA Cup, two National Championships, and the ‘Zvezda’ trophy, awarded to the best football player from the former Soviet Union.

He’s looked an excellent goalkeeper who makes saves with no flashiness at all.

He is the same height as Shay Given, at 6’1″.


Berezutsky twins – Vasiliy and Alexey – in that order

We’re putting these two together – guess why?

They are the Berezutsky twins, and yes they are are identical.

Turns out they are very similar players too, and good defenders, with a no-nonsense attitude. They can play anywhere across the back line.

The identical twins were born in Moscow on June 20, 1982, with Vasily emerging the slightly older one 20 minutes earlier.

They are both at CSKA Moscow and we watched them a couple of seasons ago in Europe for CSKA Moscow, and they both looked terrific.

We would need to bring both to Newcastle – but why not?

On an international level Vasily has won 26 caps and scored one goal, while Alexei has so far collected 31 caps.

When they play together it’s really weird seeing two players who look exactly the same but with a different number on their shirt. 😀

They are both 6’2″ tall (of course).

They would fix up our defense that’s for sure. Not sure why they haven’t been in the Russian team but one of them is probably out of form, and the other one will be too – of course.


Andrei Arshavin – seems like he’s crying

Somebody we’ve been after since last year, and who looked great against Sweden on Wednesday night, when he seemed to transform Russia into a great looking attacking outfit.

We should have got him for £8M in January, when he was dying to join Newcastle, but that’s in hindsight.

Andrei plays for Zenit St. Petersburg, but he’s almost a certainty to move this summer to a top club in Europe. He is a versatile second striker who can also play as attacking midfielder and also as a wide midfielder.

Andrei is best known for his close control, vision and pace, as was apparent against Sweden.


Yuriy Zhirkov

This was the player who was attacking down the left hand side last night and he looks a terrific player, and just 24 years old.

Yuriy plays mainly as an attacking left winger although he has played as an attacking left wing back in the past.

His abundance of creativity makes him one of CSKA Moscow’s and Russia’s most prized assets.

Yuriy is known as The Russian Ronaldinho, for his dribbling skills and audacity. He is also a very hard working player as we saw last night, and will only get better.

He’s played for CSKA Moscow 109 times, and has 19 caps for his country.


Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

The boyish looking youngster, Diniyar Rinatovich Bilyaletdinov was born in February 1985, and is a left sided midfielder.

Many consider him as Russia’s rising star, and he plays for FC Lokomotiv Moscow for whom he’s played 112 times and scored 21 goals.

He’s 6’1″ and has so played for Russia 23 times with two goals. He’s been in the Russian starting eleven in Euro 2008.

A versatile player, Bilyaletdinov can play on the left wing, in central midfield or in his most comfortable position, just behind the strikers as an attacking midfielder.

That’s the position Michael Owen was playing so well for us at the end of last season.


Roman Pavlyuchenko

Pavlyuchenko plays as striker for Spartak Moscow and he looks like he could be made into a world-class goal scorer, if he isn’t that already.

He’s played outstanding football for the Russian side so far in Euro 2008.

He has all the skills you could imagine, but sometimes he doesn’t always play the right ball – but that could be put right by a good coach – like Kevin Keegan.

The 6’2″ blond striker looked awesome against Sweden, and has played 136 times for Spartak with 67 goals.

The reports suggest he can be bought for as little as £6M – they’ve got to be kidding. 😀

There’s 7 excellent players who would make the Newcastle squad so much better than last season.

Most of these players would also come fairly cheaply, although Andrei Arshavin will not – not now.

Comments welcome.

302 comments so far

  • gorskino10

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #1

    For one where is Zhirkov the LB?? also Bilyaletdinov has looked good but there was another really fast guy beginning with a c or something anyway just hope we can get Zhirkov and Asharvin. Akinfeev is easilly the best youngster at this moment probs on par with Hugo Lloris from Lyon so we should check him out if Shay does leave.
    Also for the Twins do we get a buy 1 get one free deal if so taske it lol.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #2

    Whoops – I only put 6 in – wait a minute – he was the other one.

  • gorskino10

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #3

    fort so he has been amazing hes been like a winger rather than a LB and he has so much energy he runs no stop and takes corners etc… great player 🙂

  • Oba

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #4

    Bayern Munich have had a bid accepted for Mario Gomez.

    Oh and Ed, where is Anyukov?? He was brilliant and has been for a while now.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #5

    Why the hell would anyone want the Berezutskiy twins, they are rubbish and arent at all mobile.

    Ed im guessing you have never seen them!

  • gorskino10

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #6

    lets hope not from Newcastle Gomez has looked rubbish and out of sorts he lacks confidence which he wont get at Newcastle .

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #7

    Ed, they wont come cheap and their wages are quite big.

    Bilyaletdinov wasnt wanted by Chelsea at 12 mil.

    Change the Berezutskiy twins for Anyukov.

  • estechco

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #8

    I agree with gorskino10, Zhirkov looked unbelievable. I thought he WAS the left winger until one of the commentators mentioned he was the LB.

    Covered sufficient ground with enough energy that I think I’d be asking for a routine urine sample to be dope tested!?!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #9

    Yuriy Zhirkov – he’s in there now – there were only 6 there to start with – missed him out.

  • Kevin Keegan

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #10

    Kevin – are you reading this?


  • robertsa

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #11

    dont get the point of this whole thing. i reckon torres and ronaldo would be good additions but it wont happen. we have had no links with any of theese russian players since keegan came apart from arshavin who has had the slightest link saying we want him for 11 million. Should have rested your fingers from typing ed.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #12

    He is a left winger, been mentioning half of these players for ages, no1 takes notice, guess i should be our new scout 🙂

  • gorskino10

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #13

    You should do one on the Croatians i have found around 3 good players excluding Modric,Corluka etc..

    Ivan Rakitic
    Darijio Srna
    Ivica Olic

  • Andy1

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #14

    Those twins dont get a kick. Anyukov is immense. Zyranov looks a tidy player as well – but he looks old

  • liamtoonbirchy

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #15

    the twins are rubbish

    zhrikov, arshavin and srna from crotia would sort our attacking midfield, leaving just a defensive midfielder to make our team imense. Maybe de jong???

    ——-DE JONG———–

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #16

    Take the Berezutskiy twins off!

    Just you talking about them as good defenders makes me cringe.

    Hence why they havent played once at this tournament even with crap defenders like Kolodin.

  • Oba

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #17

    Tom_Toon pretending he knows about every single player in the world, again.

  • mark

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #18

    That will be the look on Arshavins face if kk cons him into joining us!

  • Marat18

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #19

    Good article Ed,
    but I think it’s a bit over the top 🙂
    we played decent footy recently but to consider half of our squad as future world-beaters? I’m a bit pessimistic here.
    And agreed with Tom Toon Berezutskiy twins are rubbish, that’s why they are not in the squad. But we don’t better defenders at the moment.
    But if you want keep it to 7 – then add Pavel Pogrebnyak and Igor Denisov. Or may be Marat Izmailov.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #20

    Marat, what is Zhirkov valued at?

    I head there was talk of him going to Zenit for 10 million euros.

    And do you know his wage?

  • Ross G

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #21

    You forgot the Right Back Aleksandr Anyukov who has been superb so far for them in both a defence and attacking down the flank, and great addition to compete with Beye. Too be honest I think we are probably more after Guy Demel because of our reluctance to invest we will probably be buying players who can play a few positions- Demel RB, CB, DM. Arshavin RM, CM, ST

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #22

    No i refuse to belve we are after Demel, he is shite!

  • Ross G

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #23

    Zhirkov – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhjJuc2Qxek rated the best goal of the tournement against Hamburg including two of our defensive targets Mathjsen, and Demel in the UEFA 2006-07.

  • Dave

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #24

    For christ sake Tom Toon, give it a rest will you fella? Unless you have a satellite dish that transmits every game in the world, then I apologise for this rant. But seriously pal, stop trying to prove to everyone that you are the bees-knees in football knowledge, it doesn’t impress anyone, trust me. Do me and the lads on here a favour and tell us how many CSKA Moscow games you have seen in which the Berezutskiy twins have played in. Unfortunately for you, youtube highlights don’t count as they make Luque a world beater.

    Rant Over.

  • 51times

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #25

    mark – go away you spurs shylock

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #26

    Are there any videos of the Berezutskiy twins on youtube?

    They are mainstays for CSKA, ive seen about 6 or 7 CSKA games.

    Marat a russia agrees with what i’ve said so i nkow what im talking about.

  • Neville Brewis

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #27

    Ed where is Lev Yashin and Kutznetzov or Mikhaillichenko. Those twins look like the two boys that cut my hedges, and relieved me of my prize winning Azalea and fuchsia shrubs.

  • Marat18

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #28

    Tom Toon
    have no idea, but I believe they all are on good wages.
    there were some talks about Zhirkov to Zenit 10m move, but they all are down atm.

    btw here is the top 10 earners in Russian League:
    Timoschuk Anatoliy (Zenit) – 3 mln euros p/a
    Arshavin Andrei (Zenit) – 2.5 mln euros p/a
    Tekke Fatih (Zenit) – 1.7 mln euros p/a
    Loskov Dmitriy (Lokomotiv) – 1.5 mln euros p/a (now in Saturn)
    Ignashevich Sergey (CSKA) – 1.5 mln euros p/a
    Dominges Alexandro (Zenit) – 1.5 mln euros p/a
    Titov Yegor (Spartak) – 1.4 mln euros p/a
    Pogrebnyak Pavel (Zenit) – 1.2 mln euros p/a
    Akinfeev Igor (CSKA) – 1.2 mln euros p/a
    Carvalho Daniel (CSKA) – 0.8 mln euros p/a

    but these figures are one year old.

  • beye the great

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #29
  • Dave

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #30

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this. With Demel aswell, alright he may not be a brilliant defender but there’s no need to repeat yourself over and over again in your thoughts of Demel. Infact, I know i’m not the only one who thinks this after reading a recent article on the Newcastle 606 forum 😉

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #31

    Tekke is on that compared to other players?!?!? Hes not good enough to warrant that.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #32

    What about me going on the Everton boards, read the comment about 14/15 out of the toon fans had no gripes with me. An everton fan wrote it because i go on their boards and annoy them, your point, none.

  • Dave

    Jun 19, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #33

    “because i go on their boards and annoy them”

    Doesn’t make you sound extremely cool if I’m being honest.

    Mate, I’m sure you’re probably a canny bloke outside the computer world, it’s just I have a hatred against people who display their arrogance in full force.

  • Nev

    Jun 19, 2008 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #34

    id have all of them tbh .. better than what we already have tbh
    + kolodin .. hes very good

  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #35

    I am just arrogant overall, not just on the computer, my mates get annoyed, but they look beyond it, i understand im arrogant and it just comes out, i dont mean to sound it though!

    Ye i sound extremely cool, i was just saying that to tell you why an everton fan made that article.

  • mikeygd

    Jun 19, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #36

    This is how i see the the top 10 next season if spurs keep spending how they r and if this krazy guy in charge on man city goes mental with the cash. I hope im proved wrong by ashely because it sure is boring supporting a team who finishes mid table every season with no ambition

    Man united
    Arsenal (if they lose adebayor and hleb)
    Man City
    Aston Villa

    Whats every1 elses thoughts on the top 10 next season baring in mind what u think other teams will spend and how u rate there managers etc..?

    Dont start slagging me off , its my opinion and just wondering wat every1 else thinks..

  • Neville Brewis

    Jun 19, 2008 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #37

    And the fellow Arshavin was the driver!

  • tam toon

    Jun 19, 2008 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #38

    Hey are you two having a fall out?

  • Dave

    Jun 19, 2008 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #39

    You must have some awesome mates if they can ‘look through’ your arrogance!

    I think everyone’s arrogant at some stage in the day, just not 24 hours of the day like you!

    Anyways bit of news, just been told that Digard’s rejected Boro in favour of us.

  • mikeygd

    Jun 19, 2008 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #40

    I was just wondering every1 elses predictions next season for top 10.

    I think if man city spend krazy amounts this summer like expected and spurs keep strengthening with the midfield i can imagine them having next season along with two top class players in berba and keane and with villa having such a good manager and everton being so consistant this is how im seeing it to be honest.

    Man Utd
    Arsenal Liverpool (I’m not sure whos going to fall out of the top 4 i reckon it depends on if adebayor of hleb depart)
    Man City
    Aston Villa

    Dont start slagging me off , im just interested on every1 elses predictions, this is just my opinion

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