In the light of Liverpool being drawn alongside Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, most news websites are terming it as a difficult or tricky tie. Similar things have been said in past for the Champions League when teams are drawn alongside any Russian club. But very few Russian league players are ever signed on by top sides. So why are Russian clubs considered to be tough teams to play compared to other European clubs?

  • I think that the insane salaries paid in Russia may very well have to do with why Russian league players are rarely signed by top clubs: they hardly have any financial reason to make a transfer to any but the absolute top clubs, for which most of them are just not good enough for. Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 11:27

2 Answers 2


It is tricky fixture. Because of many reasons,

  • A long travel for the away fixture is a headache.
  • The long travel doubles the headache, as the UCL or Europa fixtures will be played during the Mid-Week. Its too hard for the team, as they'll be too tired
  • And most importantly, it in Russia. It'll be very very cold. They might even have to play in snow.
  • Another reason (not only for russian teams, also for scandinavian teams) is that most of them are playing on artificial ground (or a mixture of artificial and natural ground).
    – Phab
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:04

It's a bit of an opinionated question actually, but I'll give it a go.

Niranjan's answer focus is with the practical side of the story, in the end it will be decided on the pitch so I'll stick to the game part.

Teams are divided in 4 drawing pots based on their UEFA club coëfficient, Rubin Kazan was in Pot 1, Liverpool in Pot 2. This means the average performance of Kazan over the last 4-5 seasons was better than Liverpool's. Rubin Kazan has 45.576 points where as Liverpool has only 32.006.

Now, these coefficients tell more about the past than the present to be honest, but it gives a fair view on their performances in Europe.

You have England, Germany and Spain. Below them you've got France, Italy closely followed by Portugal and Russia. Russian teams like Kazan will lose to Chelsea, City,... Liverpool is not on the same level, so Kazan at home will make it very difficult for them.

Will most people say Liverpool has a better team than Rubin Kazan if you put each player from both sides next to each other? Probably. But that does not make it true. Same thing goes for what you read in the media btw.

As to why Russian league players are rarely signed by European top flight clubs, I'm going with money. Russian clubs pay very good money for their star players. Besides the money not many Russian players seem to be attracted to go play abroad.

  • Note that the system has changed a bit this year: the teams in pot 1 were the champions of the "top 8" leagues, independent of their UEFA coefficients.
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 15:13
  • True, just seven I think btw + CL winner, but as Barcelona won both PSV grabbed the open spot. But not so for Europa League if I'm not wrong.
    – Don_Biglia
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 15:17
  • Its not just the case for Liverpool this time... some time back in 2006 Arsenal were also worried about being drawn against CSKA Moscow in group stages of CL, that was when Arsenal had just reach champions league final in previous season (and they subsequently lost 1-0 to CSKA)... It was a similar situation when the then in form Manchester United were drawn against CSKA in 2009... I guess there is really something about english teams travelling to Russia for play...
    – Gaurav
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 5:54
  • The travelpart is mentioned by niranjan, as said, I focused elsewhere. I'm not denying it, I just saw no need to repeat it. ;)
    – Don_Biglia
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 11:32
  • @PhilipKendall Note: Liverpool is playing in the Europa League. The cup with the domestic champions are set in pot 1 is the Champions League.
    – Phab
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:03

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