FC “Anzhi” from Makhachkala will be Russian Manchester City?
“Anzhi” (also spelled “Anji”) is a Russian football club from Makhachkala (capital city of Dagestan Republic) playing in the Russian Football Championship. The name of the club is an ancient name of the city of Makhachkala. Also the word “Anzhi” means “pearl”. The official club colors are green, yellow and white.
FC Anzhi Makhachkala emblem
Football club “Anzhi” was founded in 1991. In the first year the team won the championship of Dagestan Republic and was entitled to participate in Russian professional football league. In its first season at the professional level in 1992, the club won the 5th place in its division, and in 1993 the team won the tournament. But with the reorganization of the Russian championship, Makhachkala residents had to stay in the second division. It took three more seasons for “Anzhi” to go up a level in the system of Russian football.
In seasons 1996 and 1997 the team was in the mid-table of the first division, taking 13 and 12 places respectively. In 1999 the football club won Russia’s first division championship and moved to Russian Football Premier League. In 2000 the club finished 4th and ensured the participation of “Anzhi” in the UEFA Cup.
Season 2001 was very difficult for the club. The team took only 13th place in the championship. In 2002 the team took the 15th place and was moved back to the first division. The next 7 years “Anzhi” held in the first division. Almost every season the club had the task to move back to the Premier League but the best result was only 6th place.
In 2009 the team took first place and won, after a long seven years, the right to participate in Russian Football Premier League. In 2010, the team has risen to a good place for a debutant – 11th.
In January 2011, the Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov bought “Anzhi”, but later it was found out that January 17, the President of Dagestan Magomedsalam Magomedov met with Kerimov and 100% of the club was given to him in exchange for financial support.
Kerimov is going to spend $ 30-50 million annually to pay the coaches and players, buy new players. Also he is planning to invest over $ 200 million in infrastructure of Makhachkala, of which a substantial amount will go to build a new stadium with a capacity of more than 50,000 spectators, which will meet all UEFA requirements.
Winter transfer window in 2011 was historic for the club and its fans. February 16 club officially announced the signing of a legend of world football, world champion in 2002, 37-year-old Brazilian Roberto Carlos.
February 27 the contract with the best midfielder on the results of the latest championship of Brazil Zhusiley da Silva was signed. Also the striker of Brazil national team Diego Tardelli was bought, on March 10, the club has signed Moroccan Mbarka Bussufu of the Belgian “Anderlecht”. Yuri Zhirkov also moved to “Anzhi” from Chelsea recently. And there are negotiations going about the transfer of Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o.
Good luck for the team! Also the level of competition in Russian Football Championship will be higher and it is good news.
Photos by FC “Anzhi” official site.