SHAMROCK ROVERS HOST Rubin Kazan this evening at 6pm in Tallaght Stadium, in what is their first-ever appearance in the Europa League proper.
Given that the visitors are somewhat of an unknown quantity, we thought we’d provide you with all the info you need to know on the Russian side:
- Rubin Kazan have not always been called ‘Rubin Kazan’. They were Ikra from 1958-1964 and Rubin Tan between 1992 and 1993.
- Nor were they always the distinguished team they are today. Having never played in the Soviet Top League, they joined the Russian First Division in 1992 and were relegated to the second division by 1994.
- Their fortune improved significantly in 1996 however, once Kamil Iskhakov – the-then mayor of Kazan – took over the club. They swiftly gained promotion to the Russian First Division, and after making steady progress for a number of years, they were promoted to the Russian Premier League in 2003. Since gaining entry to the league, they have consistently qualified for the UEFA Cup and even won the Russian Championship in 2008.
- Arguably the most famous result in the club’s history took place during the 2009-2010 Champions League group stages, when they beat Barcelona 2-1 at the Nou Camp.
- They won the league again in 2009, but failed to progress to the Champions League group stages (see video below) after they were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Lyon, despite putting in a decent performance in the second leg.
- Notable former players include Sergei Semak, who won 65 caps for Russia, ex-Man City cult hero Georgi Kinkladze and respective Premier League flops, Serhiy Rebrov and Savo Milosevic.
- Notable current players include Paraguayan striker Nelson Valdez, ex-Newcastle man Obafemi Martins and promising young midfielder Aleksandr Ryazantsev, who scored in their famous victory over Barcelona.
- Their stadium is known as the Central Stadium and has a capacity of 30,133, while last year’s average attendance was 13,077. They will, however, be moving to a new 45,000-seater stadium next year.