In our article “The most titled players of the Russian championship” you will learn a symbolic list of the main triumphants in Russian soccer at the moment.
A new soccer season begins in Russia – 16 teams and about half a thousand players will start the long race for championship in the Premier League. And we will tell you about those who have already successfully completed this race many times – the leaders in terms of the number of championship titles in the country’s elite division.
The new 2023/24 season will be the 32nd in the history of the Russian top division. Until 2002 it was called the Vysshaya Liga, and after that – the Premier League, which is already familiar to modern fans. There have been many “winning dynasties” and championship series in the history of the tournament. Spartak Moscow once “ruled the ball”, and in the last five seasons Zenit St. Petersburg have been unrivaled in the championship.
Before the new campaign, the Blue-Belo-Blues from the banks of the Neva River are assigned the role of the main favorite. Will Zenit confirm the experts’ correctness? We will begin to find out the answer to this question very soon. In the meantime, let’s take a little digression into history, and remember those Russian football players who most often achieved the championship goal first in the Top League, and then in the RPL.
Dmitri Ananko – 9 championship medals
The main and absolute record holder of the Russian championships at the moment, who will be very difficult for the current and future generations to overtake. This player, who played at the position of defender, caught the “golden era” of Spartak Moscow and fully received his personal “dividends” from it.
Ananko was part of the Red and Whites in 9 of the club’s 10 championship seasons in Russian history. Such a nice reward for his devotion to the club colors.
Andrey Tikhonov – 8 championships
Another Spartak legend who, together with Ananko, would surely have been able to top the list of record-breaking championships in Russian soccer had it not been for a conflict with Spartak head coach Oleg Romantsev at the beginning of the new millennium.
Tikhonov, resenting the coaching staff and management for not letting the player go abroad, eventually fell into disgrace, and in 2001 was expelled from the camp of the “Red and White”, missing the new championship season.
Later Andrey will return to Spartak in 2011 after “traveling” to various clubs in Russia and Kazakhstan, but by that time the Muscovites will not be as strong as they were in the “golden era”, but their rivals – on the contrary, will be much more powerful and ambitious.
Dmitri Khlestov – 7 championship medals
If Tikhonov fell behind the main record holder for Russian championship gold medals because he missed the 2001 season, this central defender did not participate in the “golden” campaign of 1996.
And what’s most frustrating – in that season Khlestov did not leave Spartak, remaining under contract with the Red-Whites, but due to a serious injury he missed the entire championship, and under the old regulations he was not eligible to receive a medal of the championship winner.
Thirteen players won 6 championship medals each
A whole “damn dozen” of footballers in Russian history have won six league titles. Six of them – Ilya Tsymbalar, Valery Kechinov, Nikolai Pisarev, Egor Titov, Alexander Filimonov and Alexander Shirko – won all their titles with Spartak. Two players – Vadim Evseev and Maxim Buznikin – have traveled the same winning path, winning 4 gold medals with Spartak and 2 more with Lokomotiv Moscow.
Current Baltika Kaliningrad coach Sergei Ignashevich is the first on our list who did not need to play for Spartak to win six league titles. The defender won one gold medal with Lokomotiv Moscow, and five more with CSKA Moscow.
Three legends of the Army Men became champions all six times with CSKA – goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and the famous defensive brothers Alexey and Vasily Berezutski.
Finally, one more footballer – goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov, the only representative of our list who has won all his titles outside Moscow. The victories went to the goalkeeper as a member of Zenit St. Petersburg, and here’s the curious thing – Kerzhakov in his first season in 2007 did not play a single match in the Premier League for the Blue and White Blues, but according to the regulations he was still entitled to wear the gold medal. There is a significant difference from the rules of the aforementioned season of 1996, when Dmitri Khlestov did not get the championship award due to injury.
This is such a symbolic list of the main triumphants in Russian soccer at the moment. There are 16 players in it – exactly the same number of teams that will start the new season of the Premier League. It is noteworthy that only two of the players mentioned in this material still have a chance to add to their “championship baggage”. These are goalkeepers Igor Akinfeev, who continues to play for CSKA and win trophies for the team (for example, the Cup of Russia in the last campaign), and Mikhail Kerzhakov, who has another year under contract with Zenit and, as noted at the beginning of the article – very high chances for gold medals in the new season.