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In profile: Rubin Kazan

A look at our second Austria opponents

12 July 2018

The Royals jet off to Austria on their pre-season training camp this weekend, with plenty of hard work and two friendlies awaiting Paul Clement and his side.

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12 July 2018

Today, we take a look at our second and final opponents while we're over in Austria - Russian top tier side, Rubin Kazan.

Fixture

Rubin Kazan vs Reading
Friday 20th July, 5pm CEST (4pm BST)
Ilz, Austria

History

Still a relatively 'young' club after being formed in 1958, Rubin Kazan's success has come more recently. They earned their first promotion to the Russian Premier League in 2002, and haven't budged since.

They may be recognisable to English fans with a number of European runs in recent years, namely taking on Chelsea in the Europa League Quarter-Finals back in 2013 - arguably the biggest matches in the club's history to date.

It was a mightily impressive European campaign from the Russian side, topping a group that contained Italian giants Inter Milan, before knocking out Atletico Madrid and Levante in the knockout stages to take on the Blues in the last eight.

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Rubin Kazan were also the opponents as Jürgen Klopp took charge of his first match at Anfield back in 2015, and have also taken on Wigan Athletic in European competition. Wigan were, bizarrely, in the Championship when they entered into the Europa League - after they had qualified by winning the FA Cup the previous season, but were relegated from the Premier League later.

In the league, Rubin have won two Russian Premier League titles and have had an increasing presence on the European scene in the last decade.

Their stadium, the Kazan Arena, has just played host to six World Cup matches - including France's 4-3 thriller against Argentina, Belgium's quarter-final victory against Brazil and South Korea's shock win to knock Germany out of the tournament.

They're a club with a history that is getting richer by the year, and will be sure to provide a stern test against the Royals in Austria.

Squad

Rubin Kazan have had some players well known to English fans among their ranks in seasons gone by, including former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, former Sunderland midfielder Yann M'Vila, West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon and former Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins, among others.

Currently, Rubin have two members of Russia's World Cup squad on the books, with Fyodor Kudryashov and Vladamir Granat standing out in their team. With Russia's advancement in the tournament, though, they may not be back in training with their club by the time the Royals face them over in Ilz. 

Manager

Experienced head Kurban Berdyev is at the helm at Rubin Kazan, and is currently in his second spell with the club. His first tenure lasted 12 years and brought unprecedented success to Rubin.

The superstitious coach, who is said to take prayer beads with him to every match, won the Russian First Division title in his first season with Rubin, moving the club into the top tier of Russian football - where they have stayed ever since.

Under Berdyev, the club also won their first Russian Premier League titles, with back-to-back successes in 2008 and 2009.

He also led the club to a double in 2012, winning the Russian Cup and the Russian Super Cup. He departed in 2013 and took in a spell at FC Rostov, finishing 2nd in the Russian Premier League in 2015-16 before returning to Rubin last year.


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