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New League Guide: Russia


FMM19 New League Guide: Russia

We have two new and exciting nations added to the game this year with Russia and China now being available to play. This guide will take a look at how the Russian leagues work, the finances of the clubs and who are the star names.

I have also written a guide for China and that can be found by clicking the link here

History of the League

The league was formed in 1992 after the break up of the Soviet Union as the six Russian clubs in the Soviet top flight were joined by 14 lower league Russian sides to form a 20 team league, by 1994 this had been reduced to 16 teams and expect for a couple of seasons in the late 90’s it still remains a 16 team division.

Since the league was formed no Russian team has won the Champions League but two teams have won the UEFA Cup/Europa League. These are CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit St Petersburg in 2008. Zenit also won the UEFA Super Cup the following season.

The Russian Premier League is currently ranked as the 6th strongest in Europe by UEFA. This is one place above Portugal and just behind France who are 5th ranked.

The top 3 most successful teams

1.     Spartak Moscow – 10 league titles

2.     CSKA Moscow – 6 league titles

3.     Zenit St Petersburg – 4 league titles

Most League Appearances

Sergei Ignashevich – 489 - Lokomotiv Moscow, CSKA Moscow

All time league goal scorer

Oleg Veretennikov – 143 gls in 274 games


League Format

Related image

The Premier Division and the First Division are both playable in game. The First Division contains 20 teams but only 17 of them are playable as Zenit, Spartak and Krasnodar all have 2nd teams in this division.

Russian Premier League

·        Number of Teams: 16

·        Number of Matches: 30

·        Champions League Qualification: 1st and 2nd placed teams qualify for the group stage. The 3rd placed team enters the best placed third qualifying phase.

·        Europa League Qualification: 4th place enters at the group stage, 5th place at the Third Qualifying Round, 6th place at the Second Qualifying Round (depending on the Russian Cup winner)

·        Relegation: The 16th and 17th placed teams go down automatically. The 13th and 14th placed teams go into the Relegation Playoff along with 4th and 3rd placed team in the First Division.

Russian First Division

·        Number of Teams: 20

·        Number of Matches: 38

·        Promotion: The top 2 teams go up automatically, 3rd and 4th join the 13th and 14th placed teams for the Premier League in a playoff for the final spot/.

·        Relegation: The bottom 5 team all get relegated.


Russia has two cup competitions, the season opening Super Cup between the league and cup winners from the previous season and the Russian FA Cup. The winner of the FA Cup qualifies for the Europa League.

Club Budgets and Facilities

Over the last few years Russian football teams have been famous for splashing a lot of money in an attempt to attract top players into the league. Some of the top teams have decent budgets that could be boosted with some clever sales but they are well below some clubs in nations like Germany, Spain and of course England.

Facilities wise some of the clubs look pretty good and I have used the games own colour coding system of red and green to show who has the best and worst.

Disclaimer: The budget of each club depends on your starting reputation so these figures should be used as a guide.

Russian Premier League


Russian First Division


Star Players

Some of the star names like Hulk and Witsel have recently left Russian football but there is still some talent in the league. Here is a selection of some top players to look out for but there are plenty more.


Claudio Marchisio: The Italian international midfielder recently joined Zenit on a free transfer from Juventus and he will add creativity and experience to there midfield.


Fedor Smolov: Smolov joined Lokomotiv this season form Krasnodar. Already a bit of an FMM favourite he is quick, has good movement and can finish.


Mario Fernandes: The Brazilian born right back impressed for Russia at this years World Cup and is an important player for his club CSKA due to his pace and defensive qualities.

Potential Wonderkids

Here are some youngsters that could develop into excellent players.


Ravanelli: The 20 year old Brazilian playmaker is one to watch at his current club Akhmat.


Fedor Chalov: CSKA’s 20 year old striker is being earmarked as a future star in Russian football because of his pace and finishing ability.


Arnor Sigurdsson: CSKA’s Arnor Sigurdsson is being touted as the next talented attacking midfielder to come from Iceland and with the right guidance from you he could fulfil that potential.


I hope this short guide has given you some idea of what to expect if you decide to mange in Russia this year. Let me know if you decide to and who you aim to take to glory.

Thank you for reading.


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Just now, Batyan said:

It is going to be a hard league with foreign playet limits :)

Two different squads for euro cups and domestic league :)

I guess that depends if they include that rule in FMM or not.

Are you excited about being able to play in Russia?

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2 minutes ago, Foxy said:

Are you excited about being able to play in Russia?

Of course, after years of waiting 👍

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Rather excited about Russia being added as I've wanted them in the game for as long as I remember. Now just to hope it's as fun as I imagine!

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4 hours ago, Aaron55 said:

Wasn't really at all interested in the new leagues last year, but I'm quite sure I'll manage in this one. 

I enjoyed the MLS for a season but I’m more excited about the possibilities that Russia and China can bring this year. Especially if the Chinese clubs have some financial muscle.

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I hoped for a little more spending power so hopefully they have some decent players to sell, not gunna lie I'm very excited to play as CSKA and get Honda back!

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3 hours ago, Ashez said:

I hoped for a little more spending power so hopefully they have some decent players to sell, not gunna lie I'm very excited to play as CSKA and get Honda back!


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On 02/11/2018 at 00:08, Ashez said:

I hoped for a little more spending power so hopefully they have some decent players to sell, not gunna lie I'm very excited to play as CSKA and get Honda back!

Akinfeev as well?

He hasn’t totally lost it.



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28 minutes ago, FMMPlayer18 said:

I might start with Nizhniy Novgorod in the Second tier got a good stadium 45,000, I think that’s where England’s World Cup games were

That seems a good pick as with there budgets and facilities they will be a decent enough challenge but the stadium gives you a chance once you move up the leagues.


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