Sasha from Russia
My name is Aleksandr, I’m 21 and have lived in Moscow, the capital of Russia, all my life. I have a younger sister and still live with my parents. I’m currently studying a Master’s degree at Lomonosov Moscow State University and my area of research is closely connected to football. I’m researching government regulation of football in Russia and comparing it to English, German and Spanish regulations. That’s why now I’m unable to work full time anywhere! It’s a lot of studying! The Football Union of Russia or any professional football club in my country – is where I’d like to start my career.
The biggest city in Europe...
...is Moscow. It has a population of over 16 million people. The difference between living standards in Moscow and any of other Russian regions is high, so, it’s common for people, especially young people, to move to Moscow to study and work. There are lots of Western and Eastern tourists here, especially around Red Square, the State Historical Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Tretyakov’s Gallery and the underground stations that were built in the Soviet period. Moscow’s underground system is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s better to visit Moscow at the end of spring or at the beginning of autumn. It’s too hot in summer, especially in July (30 degrees or more) and absolutely freezing in winter. It was -35 at the beginning of January this year.
I've been a football fan...
...since 2008 when Russia finished third at the European Championships. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much else to be proud of. Even the USSR never won the World Cup. Their best result was 4th place in 1966, the year of the English victory.
I like to watch...
... matches in the stadium, in the pub and at home. There are three football clubs from Moscow in the Russian Premier League (RPL): Spartak, CSKA and Lokomotiv. Dinamo Moscow has already won promotion so will also be in the top division next season. Torpedo Moscow, which was more famous during the 1970s and 1980s, plays in the third division now. I have lots of friends who support both Russian and foreign clubs. When there is an important game, we often go to the pub (and drink Guinness) or to someone’s home if the game is not in Moscow. If Spartak Moscow (the team I support in Russia) plays at home, our “255” community supports the team in the fan sector of the stadium. I have supported Spartak only since 2014 but the club hasn’t won anything since 2003…However, this season Spartak are the Champions of Russia and will play in the Champions League next season! The fans have been waiting for this great achievement for 16 years and now awe are over the moon! Thanks to the manager, Massimo Carrera, who was Antonio Conte’s deputy before he was at Chelsea, and the entire team!
...I have played football since I was a child. Six years ago I decided to be a goalkeeper and I’ve never regretted this. Recently, I’ve joined one of the underdogs in an amateur Moscow league in order to make their performances and results better! I’ve also played for my SPA (School of Public Administration) team at the university for three years. Unfortunately, the lat two seasons were not lucky for us. The best achievement was second place in the University Cup. It was terrible, because we lost the final, conceding a last-gasp goal 10 seconds before the final whistle. We were gutted and took our silver medals immediately an left…
...Manchester City. It is far from being the most popular team in Russia. I watched them for the first time on the 14th of August in 2010. They were playing Tottenham Hotspur. During the next 3-4 years lots of people who support Arsenal, United or Chelsea have called me a fake fan, but I don’t care about that. I will never forget the last game against “Queens Park Rangers” at the end of the 2011/2012 season. It was a miracle! I also remember the 6-1 away win against United in 2011, the 6-3 home win against Arsenal in 2013 and the Champions League games against PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona. And the Cup Final defeat 0:1 against Wigan Athletic, ohh no what a disater that was!…Unfortunately, neither of my favourite players have been not in the starting 11 this season. Joe Hart plays for Torino and Vincent Kompany was unable to play due to several injuries in a row. But he’s back in the team now! 7 years have passed and so many things at the club have changed...Despite this, I believe that Pep Guardiola will be able to create a team which can win both the Premier League and the Champions League.
My favourite football quote is...
Only true champions come out and show their worth after defeat.
Sir Alex Ferguson
Six things you might not know about Russia
What do you think?
Did you learn anything new about life in Russia? Do you do any of the things that Sasha wrote about?
Tell us about where you are from and some of the things that are special about where you live.
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