Sport Soccer

Sunday 26 March 2017

Rubin Kazan

Manager: Kurban Berdyev

Star Player: Irish fans will recognise the seemingly ageless Nigerian Obafemi Martins (right) who has now pitched up in Russia. The former Newcastle striker briefly popped back onto the English radar earlier this year when he scored the winner in the Carling Cup final while on loan with Birmingham City.

He began his career in Italy with Inter and won a Serie A title, two Italian Cups and a Super Cup with the Milan side.

Ground: Tsentralnyi Stadion, Kazan (30,133 capacity)

History: Rubin have been around in various guises since 1936, but have only really shot to prominence in their homeland with massive investment from 2003 onwards. They won the league twice in 2008 and 2009 and have competed consistently at European level in the two main competitions.

Biggest Achievement: They pulled off a huge upset in October 2009, when they scored a Champions League victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp. A feat which is beyond most teams in the modern game.

How They Got Here: Finished third in the Russian league last year, which was enough to get them into the Champions League qualifiers where they beat Dynamo Kiev before falling short against Lyon despite a rally in the second leg.

Ambitions: Rubin will be expecting to reach the knockout stages and will be aiming to reach the business end of the competition. They got to the last 32 of the tournament last year.

Irish Independent

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