Without foreign players, the Russian championship will become hot and like a lamp. Who benefits from Russian football?

The possible absence of foreigners will greatly change the balance of power in the RPL.

In the recent history of Russian football, there are many fighters to remove the limit on foreign players. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. And no quantitative restrictions are supposed to be needed.

It seemed that victory over the system was near, that this infamous rule was about to be repealed, but the problem itself lost its significance. Within a few days, dozens of legionnaires left the RPL and that number continues to grow.

Of course, some foreign players will remain in Russia, but in the current situation, there is still a great temptation to dream and imagine a world in which there are no legionnaires in the RPL.

How much will Russia’s top clubs be weakened if only Russians remain on the mission, as well as players from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, who are not officially considered legionnaires? Who wins in such a scenario? And will the league become more competitive?


Until recently, Zenit’s quota for abroad was covered, but Jaroslav Rakicki left and now there are seven legionnaires in St. Petersburg: Douglas Santos, Lovren, Malcolm, Claudino, Barrios, Wendel, Alberto. They are all solid players, so their departure will bleed Zenit to the bone.

Without legionnaires, the starting lineup will be about the same as the cup with KAMAZ: Kerzhakov – Karavaev, Chistyakov, Alip, Sutormin – Erokhin, Ozdoev, Mostovoy, Kuzyaev – Dziuba, Sergeev.

Yaroslav Rakitskiy / Photo: © FC Zenit


The Muscovites have seven legionnaires on request: Varela, Balbuena, Laksalt, Moreau, Szymanski, N’Zhi ​​and Ukrainian Ordets, who are likely to leave as well. Uruguayans Laxalta and Varela can be replaced, Clinton sits more on the bench than she plays. Really tangible losses – Moro and Simanski, this pair of central midfielders played well, in addition, has no replacement. The departure of the main pair of central defenders Balbouena and Ordez, who played almost all the matches of the season, will also hit hard.

Without legionnaires, the composition will look like this: Shunin – Parshivlyuk, Sazonov, Evgeniev, Skopintsev – Fomin, Kutitsky, Zakharyan – Makarov, Grulev, Smolov.


Several high quality legionnaires came to the military club in the winter, the team improved significantly in the game. There are now eight of them in the application: Magnusson, Fuchs, Biyol, Gbamen, Carrascal, Medina, Yazici, Ejuke. Maybe everyone except Magnusson is claiming to be in the “start”. In CSKA the role of foreigners is important, but probably not as fatal as in Zenit.

Without them, the composition would be something like this: Akinfeev – Diveev, Nababkin, Fernandez – Akhmetov, Mukhin, Dzagoev, Zainutdinov, Oblyakov – Yakovlev, Zabolotny.


The “bulls” have even more legionnaires than they need – nine: Ramires, Alonso, Cayo, Krichoviak, Cabella, Wanderson, Clason, Cordoba, Butheim. Everyone except Krichoviak has their contracts suspended and the Pole is said to be leaving the club.

Therefore, in this case, the starting lineup does not look like a fantasy, but a fact: Safonov – Chernov, Sorokin, Martynovich, Petrov – Gazinsky, Krivtsov, Ionov, Spertsyan, Chernikov – Ilyin.

Grzegorz Krychowiak / Photo: © RIA Novosti / Vitaly Timkiv


The long-suffering Lokomotiv lost its German mentor and at the same time the trust of foreigners was shaken. The Muscovites now have eight of them: Pablo, Edvay, Rybus, Kerk, Beka-Beka, Kukhta, Isidor, Kamano. The most interesting thing is that there is no Russian forward, because Smolov went to Dynamo in the winter.

The following sets emerge: Guillermo – Zivoglyandov, Magkeev, Mambasi, Nenakov – Petrov, Maradishvili, Barinov, Tiknizian, Ribchinsky – Zemaleddinov.


The Red and Whites have eight foreign players: Gigo, Kofrier, Ayrton, Martins, Moses, Promes, Nicholson, Larson. Samuel will definitely leave in the summer, Jordan is over, Martins is still pouring. The ones who are definitely doing well in today’s Spartak are Moses, Nicholson and Promes, although they can be replaced, albeit with small losses.

The starting positions will be as follows: Selikhov – Zika, Litvinov, Chernov – Klasen, Zobnin, Umiarov, Prutsev, Raskazov – Sombolev, Ignatov.

“Wings of the Soviets” – the most Russian team

Dmitry Ivanisenya / Photo: © FC Krylya Sovetov

Sochi, which is in third place, has six foreign players and the loss of half will certainly be felt. These are Noboa, Popov and Casierra. Ahmad also has six foreigners. The Ukrainian Polyarus has already left the club and if Nizhich, Bogosavats, Sebai, Konate also leave, then surely Grozny will have big problems in defense and attack.

The Wings of the Soviets have the fewest legionnaires – four, among them the Ukrainian Dmitry Ivanisenia, while he is in the team. There are also the key Begits and Bale, but the Wings, if they wish, will be able to replace them with our players. But, for example, in Rubin it will not be easy to close the losses from the departure of foreigners. Uremovich is the team leader and Kvaratskhelia, Dreyer and Khakshabanovich are hopes for the attack. Nizhny Novgorod has seven legionnaires, but here only Miladinovic, Ketskes and Masero look like tangible losses.

The situation in the clubs of the last position of the scoreboard

The Urals have a few legionnaires, but among them is a longtime leader, Eric Bikfalvi. Yes, he is already 34, but he still has a year and a half from the contract and during that time he would definitely be useful. There are more foreigners in Rostov, but, in principle, their loss is not fatal. However, it will be unpleasant for the Rostovites if Almqvist, Bashtush and Hashimoto leave – these are the key players.

Arsenal have almost all the midfield legions. If the brothers Kangva, Davitashvili, Kostadinov, Chaushich leave the team, it will be a disaster. Yes, and the newcomer Despotovic is already an integral part of the attack. Ufa also has a good striker, Kasidura, and Jokic and Mrzliak also play a big role. Without them, it will be difficult for the club to maintain a residence permit in the elite.

Khimki has six legionnaires on the application, and four of them came this winter. The club is at the bottom of the table and does everything to survive, even to hope at the level of foreigners. Will the new old coach Sergei Yuran succeed? We’ll see.

Of course, the outflow of foreign players from our league will greatly affect the quality of football. From the top, Zenit will suffer more, than those fighting for survival, probably Arsenal and Khimki.

The Russian league without legionnaires will lose in the fun and quality of football, but it will certainly become the hottest and most famous of the last decades. It seems that we go back to the mid-90s, where foreign players were still rare, and the leading roles in most teams were played by domestic craftsmen. And that’s when many people fell in love with our football. It is those sincere feelings that are often lacking now.

We have a unique opportunity to see football in Russian, to see in practice those who did not wait for their chance. And at the same time, to finally understand whether we need this infamous limit on legionnaires or not.

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