FC Anzhi Makhachkala

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Anzhi Makhachkala
Full name Football Club Anzhi Makhachkala
Nickname(s) Orly (Eagles)
Dagestantsy (Dagestani)
Founded 1991; 25 years ago (1991)
Ground Anzhi-Arena, Kaspiysk
Ground Capacity 30,000
Owner Suleyman Kerimov
Chairman Konstantin Remchukov
Head coach Ruslan Agalarov (caretaker)
League Russian Premier League
2015–16 Russian Premier League, 14th
Website Club home page
Current season

Football Club Anzhi Makhachkala (Russian: Футбо́льный клуб Анжи́ Махачкала́, pronounced [fʊdˈbolʲnɨj ˈklup ɐnˈʐɨ məxəʂkɐˈla]) is a Russian football club based in Makhachkala, capital of the Republic of Dagestan. Founded in 1991, the club competes in the Russian Football Premier League, playing their home games at the Anzhi-Arena.

On 18 January 2011, Anzhi Makhachkala was purchased by billionaire Suleyman Kerimov,[1][2] and subsequently made numerous high-profile signings, including those of striker Samuel Eto'o[3] and manager Guus Hiddink. Following severe budget cuts ahead of the 2013–14 Russian Premier League season, the club lost most of its key players and went on to finish bottom of the table, which resulted in relegation to the Russian National Football League at the end of the season, returning at the first attempt.


The club was founded in 1991 by former Dinamo Makhachkala player Magomed-Sultan Magomedov, then head of Dagnefteprodukt, and took part in its first season in the Dagestan League the same year. They ended up as league champions with an unbeaten record and 16 wins out of 20 matches.[4]

Due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the club entered Zone 1 of the Russian Second Division (the third-highest tier) in 1992[4] and finished in 5th place. The club won their Group in 1993, but due to league reorganisation were not promoted, and remained in the new Western Zone of the third tier until a second-place finish in 1996 guaranteed promotion to the First Division,[5] under the coaching of Eduard Malofeev.[4] A key player in Anzhi's early history was Azerbaijani international forward Ibragim Gasanbekov, who was the team's top scorer in all of their first seven seasons. He was league top scorer in 1993 (30 goals) and 1996 (33 goals).

In 1999 Anzhi won the First Division, and were thus promoted to the Russian Premier League for the first time.[4] The side missed out on a bronze-medal finish on the last day of the season, as they conceded a last-minute Torpedo penalty which took their opponents into third place.[6] On 20 June 2001, the club played in the final of the Russian Cup for the first time, losing to Lokomotiv on penalties after a 1–1 draw.[4]

Anzhi finished 15th and were relegated from the Premier League in 2002, but during their first season back in the First Division they reached the semi-finals of the Russian Cup where they lost 1–0 to Rostov.[7] In their seventh season in the First Division, Anzhi won the league and returned to the Premier League.[4] On 5 December 2010, defender Shamil Burziyev died in a car accident, aged 25.[8]

Modern history (2011–)[edit]

Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o was the team's captain until his departure to Chelsea in 2013

On 18 January 2011, the club was purchased by Dagestani billionaire Suleyman Kerimov,[9] but later it was revealed that the President of Dagestan, Magomedsalam Magomedov, met Kerimov and gave him a 100% stake in the club, including 50% of the shares of the former owner of the club Igor Yakovlev, in exchange for financial support.[10] Kerimov was planning to invest over $200 million in infrastructure, of which a substantial amount will go in building a new stadium with a capacity of more than 40,000 spectators, which would meet all UEFA requirements.[11]

Kerimov's investment was immediate as the club made signings in the 2011 Winter transfer window. The first significant signing came on 16 February, when the club announced the free transfer of Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos, a World Cup winner in 2002.[12] Further signings included €10 million on another Brazilian, the former Corinthians midfielder Jucilei da Silva[13] and €8 million on Moroccan winger Mbark Boussoufa from Anderlecht. Boussoufa's transfer was finalised in the last minute of the window, on 10 March.[14]

In summer 2011, the club signed the Hungarian Balázs Dzsudzsák, who signed a four-year deal to transfer for a reported €14 million.[15] Anzhi also bought Russian midfielder Yuri Zhirkov from Chelsea for a similar fee.[16] On 23 August 2011, Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o signed from Inter Milan for around €28 million, on a world-record €20.5 million annual salary.[17]

In February 2012 the club appointed the experienced Dutchman Guus Hiddink as a new manager,[18] after Yuri Krasnozhan's two-month-long spell in charge. Hiddink's first signing was Congolese defender Christopher Samba, joining for £12 million from Blackburn Rovers.[19]

On 30 January 2012, Roberto Carlos announced his plans to retire at the end of the season.[20] He ended his football career on 9 March and took up a role as the club's Director.[21]

On 10 October 2012, Anzhi opened a youth academy, the first in the Republic of Dagestan in order to develop youth talents to the first team. The academy is being run by Anzhi's Sporting Director Jelle Goes.[22]

On 22 July 2013, Guus Hiddink resigned from his post as manager ending an 18-month stint. His newly appointed assistant, countryman René Meulensteen, was promoted to the manager position.[23] However, after 16 days as the team manager, Meulensteen was sacked.[24]

On 7 August 2013, Kerimov decided to reduce the team's annual budget by two-thirds.[25][26] On 15 August 2013 Yuri Zhirkov, Igor Denisov (who had played only joined the club in June) and Aleksandr Kokorin (who himself had just signed weeks before) were packaged to FC Dynamo Moscow for an undisclosed fee. The three players had been purchased with the previous two years at a cost exceeding 50 million euros.[citation needed] Remchukov said that the reason for the move was the "sharp deterioration in the health of Suleyman Kerimov, because of worries about the club’s lack of success."[24] In addition, Dynamo also signed Christopher Samba, Vladimir Gabulov and Aleksei Ionov from Anzhi. Other cost-cutting transfers included Samuel Eto'o and Willian to English side Chelsea (the latter of which had only just signed for Anzhi in January 2013), Lassana Diarra, Mbark Boussoufa and Arseniy Logashov to Lokomotiv Moscow, João Carlos to Spartak Moscow, and Oleg Shatov to Zenit St Petersburg. The firesale continued into January 2014 with the sale of striker Lacina Traoré to AS Monaco for €18 million and the sale of midfielder Jucilei to United Arab Emirates side Al Jazira Club.[27]

Several of the players sold had been recent signings for Anzhi; Aleksandr Korkorin had signed from Dynamo only a month before being sold back to the Dinamiki and had yet to make an appearance for Anzhi. Igor Denisov and Aleksei Ionov had both only signed in June and had played only a handful of matches before being sold. Christopher Samba had rejoined Anzhi in July after a spell with Queens Park Rangers. Willian had joined in January and played only 11 league matches before being sold.

The budget cut resulted in Anzhi performing terribly in the 2013-14 Russian Premier League. When the season ended, Anzhi finished last in the Russian Premier League and were relegated, with a record of three wins and 20 points, which made them the worst last-placed team in Europe.[28] However, they returned to the top division at the first attempt.

Crest and colours[edit]

Anzhi badge from 2007 to 2009, the club went back to the original version in 2010

The club's crest includes a yellow eagle in traditional Caucasian clothing with elements of the Dagestani flag.

The club's name derives from the word "Anzhi", meaning 'pearl' in the local Kumyk language. It was also the ancient name for the land around where Makhachkala is situated.

In the 2013–14 season they changed their shirt sponsor from Adidas to Nike.


Anzhi played at the Dynamo Stadium until 2013.

Due to armed conflict in Dagestan, the club's players live and train in a village near Moscow, at a training base previously used by Saturn Moscow. The club fly in for home matches,[29][30] which have a heavy security presence.[31]

The club's 28,000-seat Anzhi-Arena was built in 2003, and due to its facilities is not used in European competition, for which Anzhi use the Lokomotiv Stadium in Moscow. A high-priority goal of Kerimov when he purchased the club was the construction of a new 40,000 seater ground.[32][33]


Anzhi receive most of their support from the Northern Caucasian region, particularly from the city of Makhachkala. The club also enjoys support from fans scattered all over Dagestan, and the local area in general.[34]

The club is hated by some supporters of Moscow clubs and Zenit St Petersburg, in part out of jealousy of the club's former wealth and also out of ethnic and religious animosity.[35]

European competitions[edit]

Anzhi participated in the 2001–02 UEFA Cup. Their opponents were Rangers of Scotland. Instead of usual home-and-away fixtures, UEFA decided to hold a single match in a neutral venue (Warsaw) due to the unstable situation in neighbouring Chechnya. Rangers won the match 1–0. After finishing 5th in the 2011–12 Russian Premier League, Anzhi qualified for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League for the first time in the club's history, after eliminating Budapest Honvéd in the 2nd qualifying round, Vitesse in the 3rd qualifying round, and AZ Alkmaar in the play-off round.[36] However they had to play home matches at the Luzhniki Stadium due to unrest in Makhachkala. They finished 2nd in group A behind Liverpool, both games between the two ended as 1-0 home wins, both teams and Young Boys took the top three positions in the group with ten points each and were ranked by their head-to-head record with Udinese bottom with four points, Anzhi were the only team in the group not to lose at home, having won all their home games in the group stage. Guus Hiddink's team were drawn with German side Hannover, who won group L. The Russians won the first leg 3-1 at the Luzhniki Stadium before a 1-1 draw in Germany sent them through 4-2 on aggregate. They faced Newcastle United in the next round, Alan Pardew's men became the first team to deny Anzhi a home win in European competition in the first leg before Papiss Cisse headed home the winner for the Magpies in the last second of the second leg at St James' Park with Mehdi Carcela-González sent off for Guus Hiddink's team.


Russian Football National League:

Russian Cup:

Recent seasons[edit]

Russian Premier League Russian First Division Russian Premier League Russian First Division Russian Second Division Russian Second Division

Russia Russia[edit]

Season Div. Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P Cup Europe Top Scorer (League)
1992 3rd, Zone 1 5 38 23 2 13 77 46 48 AzerbaijanRussia Gasanbekov – 14
1993 1 38 27 1 10 98 31 55 R128 AzerbaijanRussia Gasanbekov – 30
1994 3rd, "West" 10 40 19 5 16 57 41 43 R256 AzerbaijanRussia Gasanbekov – 14
1995 7 42 24 4 14 47 43 76 R32 AzerbaijanRussia Gasanbekov – 24
1996 2 38 28 3 7 99 36 87 QF AzerbaijanRussia Gasanbekov – 33
1997 2nd 13 42 18 6 18 66 72 60 R32 AzerbaijanRussia Gasanbekov – 17
1998 12 42 17 6 19 47 56 57 R64 AzerbaijanRussia Gasanbekov – 15
1999 1 42 26 8 8 55 20 86 R64 AzerbaijanRussia Sirkhaev – 11
2000 RFPL 4 30 15 7 8 44 31 52 QF Serbia Ranđelović – 12
2001 13 30 7 11 12 28 34 32 RU AzerbaijanRussia Sirkhaev – 10
2002 15 30 5 10 15 22 42 25 R16 UC 1st round Russia Budunov – 4
2003 2nd 6 42 19 13 10 52 33 70 SF Russia Budunov – 10
2004 8 42 16 12 14 50 53 60 R32 Russia Lakhiyalov – 9
2005 11 42 14 13 15 47 48 55 R64 Russia Lakhiyalov – 9
2006 15 42 15 8 19 57 66 53 R64 Russia Antipenko – 14
2007 10 42 16 9 17 41 44 57 R32 UzbekistanRussia Agalarov – 6
2008 6 42 20 12 10 63 35 72 R64 Georgia (country) Ashvetiya – 17
2009 1 38 21 12 5 61 31 75 R32 Georgia (country) Martsvaladze – 13
2010 RFPL 11 30 9 6 15 29 39 33 R64 Russia Tsorayev – 8
2011/12 5 44 19 13 12 54 42 70 R16 Cameroon Eto'o – 13
2012/13 3 30 15 8 7 45 34 53 RU EL R16 Ivory Coast Traore – 12
2013/14 16 30 3 11 16 25 42 20 R32 EL R16 Seven Players – 2
2014/15 2nd 2 34 22 5 7 60 22 71 R32 Ivory Coast Boli – 15

European record[edit]

1R: First round, 2Q: Second qualifying round, 3Q: Third qualifying round, PO: Play-off round

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2001–02 UEFA Cup 1R Scotland Rangers 0–11 N/A 0–1
2012–13 UEFA Europa League 2Q Hungary Budapest Honvéd 1–0 4–0 5–0
3Q Netherlands Vitesse 2–0 2–0 4–0
PO Netherlands AZ 1–0 5–0 6–0
Group A England Liverpool 1–0 0–1 2nd place
Italy Udinese 2–0 1–1
Switzerland Young Boys 2–0 1–3
Round of 32 Germany Hannover 96 3–1 1–1 4–2
Round of 16 England Newcastle United 0–0 0–1 0–1
2013–14 UEFA Europa League Group K England Tottenham Hotspur 0–2 1–4 2nd place
Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol 1-1 0–0
Norway Tromsø 1–0 1–0
Round of 32 Belgium Genk 0–0 2–0 2–0
Round of 16 Netherlands AZ 0-0 0-1 0-1

1 Only one leg was played, in a neutral venue in Warsaw, Poland, due to security concerns in Russia.

Current squad[edit]

As of 6 February 2016, according to the RFPL official website

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Russia DF Andrey Yeshchenko
3 Russia DF Ali Gadzhibekov
4 Serbia DF Darko Lazić
5 Russia DF Aleksandr Zhirov
6 Armenia MF Karlen Mkrtchyan
7 Russia DF Kamil Agalarov
8 Netherlands MF Lorenzo Ebecilio
13 Russia DF Rasim Tagirbekov
14 Albania MF Bernard Berisha
16 Russia GK Yury Shafinsky
18 Belarus MF Ivan Mayewski
20 Niger MF Amadou Moutari
No. Position Player
27 Russia GK Mekhti Dzhenetov
30 Russia DF Shamil Gasanov
37 Russia MF Batraz Khadartsev
42 Brazil MF Leonardo
55 Russia GK Yevgeny Pomazan
57 Azerbaijan DF Magomed Musalov
77 Russia DF Georgi Tigiyev
87 Russia MF Ilya Maksimov
88 Russia MF Anvar Gazimagomedov
94 Ivory Coast FW Yannick Boli
99 Russia FW Islamnur Abdulavov

Youth squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
45 Russia DF Narula Dzharulayev
47 Russia MF Tamirlan Dzhamalutdinov
48 Russia MF Magomed Magomedov
49 Russia MF Yuri Kuzmin
53 Russia MF Karim Girayev
54 Russia FW Rashid Magomedov
56 Russia DF Mikhail Reshetnyak
58 Russia DF Magomed Elmurzaev
59 Russia FW Mariz Saidov
61 Russia DF Anton Belov
62 Russia FW Shakhban Gaydarov
No. Position Player
63 Russia MF Dordzhi Sangadzhiyev
64 Russia MF Tamerlan Ramazanov
65 Russia DF Abubakar Ustarkhanov
67 Russia MF Alan Yarikbayev
68 Russia MF Goutemir Umarov
69 Russia FW Said Aliev
71 Russia GK Mukharbek Buraev
73 Russia MF Chingiz Agabalaev
75 Azerbaijan FW Tagir Musalov
78 Russia MF Timur Patakhov
96 Russia FW Dzhamal Dibirgadzhiyev

Reserve team[edit]

Anzhi's reserve team played professionally in the Russian Third League from 1995 to 1997. For more details, see FC Anzhi-Bekenez Makhachkala.

Coaching staff (2014–15)[edit]

Position Staff
Head Coach Russia Yuri Semin
Assistant Coach
First Team Coach Russia Arsen Akayev
Goalkeeper Coach Russia Zaur Khapov
Senior Fitness Coach Russia Vyacheslav Molchanov
Fitness Coach Russia Maksim Adamovich
Youth Team Head Coach Russia Ruslan Agalarov
Academy Director Netherlands Jelle Goes
Academy Assistant Coach Netherlands Fuat Usta
Sporting Director Republic of Macedonia Lazo Liposki

Last updated: 22 May 2014
Source: http://www.fc-anji.ru/coaches/


Top scorers by season[edit]

Season Player League Cup Europe Total
1992/93 Azerbaijan Ibragim Gasanbekov 14 14
1993/94 Azerbaijan Ibragim Gasanbekov 30 2 32
1994/95 Azerbaijan Ibragim Gasanbekov 16 16
1995/96 Azerbaijan Ibragim Gasanbekov 24 3 27
1996/97 Azerbaijan Ibragim Gasanbekov 34 1 35
1997/98 Azerbaijan Ibragim Gasanbekov 17 17
1998/99 Azerbaijan Ibragim Gasanbekov 15 1 16
1999/00 Azerbaijan Narvik Sirkhayev 11 11
2000/01 Serbia Predrag Ranđelović 12 1 13
2001/02 Azerbaijan Narvik Sirkhayev 10 2 12
2002/03 Russia Budun Budunov 4 2 6
2003/04 Russia Budun Budunov 10 10
2004/05 Russia Shamil Lakhiyalov 9 1 10
2005/06 Russia Shamil Lakhiyalov 9 1 10
2006/07 Russia Aleksandr Antipenko 14 14
2007/08 Uzbekistan Ruslan Agalarov 6 1 7
2008/09 Georgia (country) Mikheil Ashvetia 17 17
2009/10 Georgia (country) Otar Martsvaladze 13 13
2010/11 Russia David Tsorayev 8 8
2011/12 Cameroon Samuel Eto'o 13 13
2012/13 Cameroon Samuel Eto'o 10 2 9 21
2013/14 Moldova Alexandru Epureanu 2 1 0 3
2014/15 Ivory Coast Yannick Boli 15 1 16

Notable players[edit]

Had international caps for their respective countries. Players whose name is listed in bold represented their countries while playing for Anzhi.



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  5. ^ The First Division, currently named Football Championship of the National League, is the second level of Russian professional football.
  6. ^ Энциклопедия футбола:Анжи (Russian)
  7. ^ "Russia Cup 2002/03". Rsssf.com. 19 June 2003. 
  8. ^ Погиб Шамиль Бурзиев – Sport Express (Russian)
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  11. ^ ""Анжи" достанется Керимову бесплатно". Gazeta.ru. 19 January 2011. 
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  13. ^ McLean, Andrew (22 February 2011). "Anzhi Sign Corinthians' Jucilei Da Silva For €10 Million". Goal.com. 
  14. ^ Sannie, Ibrahim (11 March 2011). "Morocco striker Mbark Boussoufa moves to Russia". BBC News. 
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  16. ^ "Zhirkov's failure to settle in London lead to £15m Chelsea exit". Dailymail.co.uk. 13 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "Russian club close the deal to sign Samuel Eto'o". BBC News. 23 August 2011. 
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  19. ^ Blackburn Rovers defender Christopher Samba joining Anzhi Makhachkala in £12 million deal[dead link]
  20. ^ "Liga – Roberto Carlos to retire at end of year. Eurosport.yahoo.com. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  21. ^ "Roberto Carlos retires to become Anzhi's director". Latest News Link. 2 August 2012. 
  22. ^ Подписан контракт с Йелле Гусом (Russian)
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  28. ^ http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/deportes/derrumbe-del-anzhi-3242380
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  35. ^ Sheringham, Sam (24 October 2012). "BBC Sport – Europa League: Anzhi Makhachkala's Russian revolution". Bbc.co.uk. 
  36. ^ "Anzhi smash five past Alkmaar to qualify for Europa". Newstrackindia.com. 31 August 2012. 

External links[edit]