The Champions appears again on the scene this Tuesday and it does so reaching its peak: the double match playoffs. Analyzing the 16 teams still in competition, Zenit of St. Petersburg still appears in the painting, the only Russian team still present in the maximum continental competition.
And in Russia, we stop because throughout the history of the Champions a Russian or Soviet team never won the competition and going further, He did not even play the final. Total, ten countries have achieved the European Cup (including Romania, Serbia, Scotland, Netherlands Portugal) but not the Russians who have always fallen before their time. Spartak Moscow came to play the semifinals in 1991 hand in hand with Radchenko and Mostovoi but never went from there. CSKA even went on to win the UEFA Cup in 2005 becoming the first Russian team to achieve a European title but in the Champions it never reached the final instance. Neither does Zenit, uefa champion of 2008 and the European Super Cup the same year.
With talented players and even economic power in recent times, Why Russian or Soviet teams fail in the Champions year after year? The causes are diverse, but in Hanging Up for Soccer we review the most outstanding:
1- The weather. Usually the Russian league stopped in winter for a long period and in February the Russian or Soviet teams faced the competition lacking rhythm and could not maintain the good level of the group stage. This has caused the calendar to be retouched and adapted to Europe, but still it is not possible to fight General Winter and must stop playing for at least two months in December and January..
2- Lack of stars. Russian teams tend to have good players, but they have a problem. When one stands out, he prefers to go abroad to shine in more competitive and higher-level leagues, where to earn more prestige and money, although this is correcting lately.
3- A little competitive league. In line with what we are talking about, The Russian Premier has a lot to improve tactically and technically. There are a few high-level teams and the rest are light years from Spain., Italy or England. This is all the more difficult. More demanding competition is needed, but it falls into Scotland's mistakes, Holland or Belgium. In search of that competitiveness, you want to return to the dispute of the Soviet league.
4- Very wayward character. The Russian or Soviet player is usually a talented but uneven footballer, which is sometimes anarchic. That anarchy makes them able to do their best, But sometimes, as well, worst.