The world seem to know a little about Russian football. You may know that Samuel Eto’o plays in Anzhi Machachkala, about Zenit and CSKA and what ridiculously high wages the players and coaches receive there. But what if we will look to the east, behind Ural mountains, where Siberia is laid? Its riches: oil, gas and coal, are in use of benefiting Moscow and SPb FC’s as Siberia itself gets VERY little impulse on football. Still, it is very popular there. And still, there are passion and love for the Game, and passion and love not necessary needs monetary help. And here’s a bright example of how passion and love makes impossible things.
August 19, 2010 was a usual day for all of the world. But for Russian and especially Siberian football fans (at least 12000 of them) this is may be the best matchday in their lives – it’s like meeting Rochdale in FA Cup 🙂
This day, FC Siberia Novosibirsk played in play-offs of EUROPA LEAGUE!!!! This event was for the first time in our region, we got it by reaching Russian Cup final and I impatiently waited for the match. The team outplayed Apollon Limassol 1-0, 1-2 in 3rd round, targeting to get to the group stages (in our debut season!). Moreover, in the last qualifying round we faced… PSV EINDHOVEN, who were current leaders of Dutch Eredivisie and for us they were a top European club (FC Siberia at that moment were on the bottom of Russian PL). The Dutch of course expected an easy win in Siberia 🙂
Since the draw for the play-offs round passed and it was announced that Siberia are to play PSV it was EXTREMELY HARD to get a ticket for the match so my uncle phoned his friends in Novosibirsk and we got our tickets among the first people. The pre-game coverage in Runet was enormous, the ground was full, and it was broadcasted live on federal TV sports channel.
The game was equal but in the very end Siberia scored a goal!!! We won one of best teams in Holland! In 2nd leg Siberia lost 0-5 though, but many others and I will remember that amazing atmosphere in Novosibirsk. Now we are proud of being the easternmost team to ever participate in EL 😉
Here are some videos from that match:
How it was seen from the stands: