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動画の字幕をクリックしてすぐ単語の意味を調べられます!
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Russia is a very big country.
And football in Russia has a long history that stretches back to the late 19th century.
But why has Russian football failed to reach the heights that you might expect?
The first official football match in Russia
took place in October 1897, in St Petersburg.
But it wasn't until 1912 that the pre-Soviet Russian national side played its first official game,
losing 2-1 to Finland at the Stockholm Olympics.
Incidentally Russia went on to lose 16-0 to Germany in its second match,
a consolation game at the same Games.
All in all not a great start to international football,
but surely the might of the USSR could sort things out.
Sport in the former Soviet Union was considered hugely significant for international prestige.
Accordingly, colossal amounts of resources were pumped into sporting infrastructure.
The new Soviet authorities gradually set about
organising a nationwide league.
Football clubs were usually linked to the state institutions.
Although it never lifted the World Cup,
the Soviet Union produced such legendary players as
Lev “Black Panther” Yashin and Oleg Blokhin.
It did however win the inaugural European Championships in 1960,
after a 2-1 victory against Yugoslavia in Paris.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991
meant that Russian clubs were thrust into the exciting
world of free market football! (Coughs).
Without the great rivalries between Russian and Ukrainian and Georgian teams,
the Russian league struggled to attract interest and money was tight.
As living standards plummeted, and violent crime rocketed amid the post-Soviet chaos,
few people had time for football.
The 1990s were dominated by Spartak Moscow,
which won the Russian league championship every year but one between 1992 and 2002,
coasting to the title most seasons.
Post-perestroika, the national team struggled.
Russia failed to qualify for the 1998 World Cup
and the 2000 European Championships.
And at the 2002 World Cup, the team failed to get out of its group.
A 1-0 to defeat to Japan was met by mass rioting in Moscow.
In the mid-2000s, with global prices for oil at record highs, Russian businessmen began
to invest in the country's top teams.
CSKA Moscow were sponsored by Roman Abramovich's Sibneft oil company,
while Zenit St Petersburg were showered with cash by owners Gazprom,
Both sides were able to attract high-quality foreign players.
CSKA were the first Russian side to lift a European trophy,
winning the 2005 Uefa cup.
And the feat was repeated four years later by Zenit, who beat Rangers 2-0 in 2008.
This period also saw unprecedented success for the national team,
reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2008 under the management of Guus Hiddink.
But the success of the 2000s was a false dawn
for both the national side and Russia's clubs.
Russia failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, and put in dismal performances
at Euro 2012 and 2016, and the 2014 World Cup.
Russian club sides have also not reached those heights since.
Still, as the Russians are inordinately fond of saying,
“Hope dies last.”
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How Russia became lowest ranked team at the 2018 World Cup

177 タグ追加 保存
Evangeline 2018 年 6 月 14 日 に公開
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