The goals of the RFU are populism. The Russian national team will not make such a leap in the FIFA rankings


You might not have noticed, but today is an important day for our football. The man on whom the game number one in Russia depends has been re-elected. Recently “Championship” made a lot of material about the most influential people in our football – Alexander Dyukov became the first.

Now he was re-elected unanimously. Nobody even began to abstain. Initially, everyone understood that there would be no full-fledged elections – there is nothing new here. What’s new is the tasks from the RFU. A beautiful presentation has been prepared, where, among other things, there are the following goals:

• The national team consistently participates in the playoffs of all tournaments

• The national team rises in class in the League of Nations

• The Russian national team rises to the top 20 in the FIFA rankings by 2025

• The Russian national team rises to the top 10 in the FIFA rankings by 2030

Probably, now Sergei Fursenko is sitting somewhere and thinking: how shallow the current leadership of the RFU is thinking – no, to win the world championship! The more modest the goals of the RFU leadership, the more adequate it looks, the closer it is to the real world. Although even the current goals seem to be grossly overstated.

Should the national team play consistently in the playoffs? We remember that in the 21st century, our team at the world championships only once left the group. Considering our current position (place in the rating and the demand for our players in the top leagues), this is a very optimistic task. It would be nice if we just started steadily getting to the World and European Championships. If we still start to steadily leave the group, then it’s generally great. We are far from a stable performance in the playoffs. In the real world, this is more likely the case.

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Climbing the League of Nations is the most realistic of these points. There is also an example of Ukraine, which has achieved this. There is our own example – Cherchesov’s team was able to fight the Turks / Hungarians / Serbs. Even with the latest flop, the odds were good.

Now comes the fun part. The Russian national team is in the top 20 by 2025 and in the top 10 by 2030. And now it already looks like populism. It is almost impossible to jump from the 39th position to the 20th in four years. Even if a gorgeous system of training football players was built in Russia, it would still be very difficult.

Children have been playing football, plus or minus from the age of six. In the main team, they will be, say, 21 years old. That is, a full cycle is 15 years. Apparently, the leadership of the RFU believes that we have an excellent generation of football players who are now 16+ years old. Here I would like a little more explanation, where does the RFU have such prerequisites?

Here, after all, even victories at the youth level give little to the main national team. Our junior U-17 team won the European Championship in 2006 and 2013. Units made it to the national team. It’s scary to say that Prudnikov was the most famous footballer of Kolyvanov’s team. Of those who won in 2013 under the leadership of Khomukha, they are now in the national team unit – Golovin and Barinov. But the system does not work that way that leagues can be reconstructed and those who are now 16+ years old will reach a new level.

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Who are we going to kick out of the top 10 by 2030?

Even Croatia is not included in this rating, although there are an order of magnitude more footballers from this country in the top leagues. Even if it makes it to the 2018 World Cup final, the Croatian national team is not held in the top 10. You can talk as much as you like about the injuries of Golovin and Cheryshev, but Modric has been dragging Real for almost 10 years. He doesn’t just come out as a substitute and sometimes scores, but he drags. Are there any prerequisites for one of our players to reach such a level? It is unlikely that the Russian national team will get into the top 10 with players floundering in the degrading RPL. In addition, Dyukov said that by 2025 Russia should try to regain the sixth line in the UEFA club rankings. Perhaps this is an even more cosmic idea than getting into the top 10 in the FIFA rankings.

It turns out that the RFU initially has sky-high goals. It’s just that they are a little more adequate than that of Fursenko, who believed in winning the 2018 World Cup. So far, all this really looks like a series of “five-year plans in two years,” as Chervichenko says. Some unattainable fantasy.

Perhaps fans and journalists initially live in slightly different worlds. I admit that such high-profile goals are announced by the bosses of the RFU in order to attract sponsors. If so, then let it go. We are all interested in the development of football. Just tired of promises.

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Here, after all, it is much more important what the RFU plans to do for the development of mass sports. Let us not get into the top 10 by 2030, but if grassroots football reaches a fundamentally different level in our country, it will be a major achievement. Much more important are these two slides from the RFU presentation.

It’s great that in the presentation itself, slides about grassroots football go earlier than about the Russian national team and its rating. I would like to believe that the work will not be concentrated on the tip of the iceberg. If the number of children playing football increases two and a half times by 2030, then this will be progress. Even if it is one that will have an effect in the distant 2045 and will not be associated with Dyukov. In the end, we clearly do not associate Golovin with the USSR, although he was formed in Kaltan on a stadium built in Soviet times and under the guidance of a coach who studied in the USSR.

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