russian and spanish football players

Russian and Spanish Football Players

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Foreign football players play in various football leagues outside their country of citizenship. Russian football players showed their skills in Spain at the end of the 20th century and they do it to this day, along with their Spanish colleagues in Russia, who conquer the Russian Championship. Today we are going to talk about those foreign players who showed their professionalism in Russia and Spain [1].

Spanish football players in the Russian league

Spanish Players in Russian Clubs

  • Francisco Javier García Fernandez (Zenit)
  • Rubén Rochina Naixes (Rubin)
  • César González Navas (Rubin)
  • José Manuel Jurado Marín (Spartak)

Francisco Javier García Fernandez

Francisco Javier García Fernandez or simply Javi Garcia from 2014 to 2017 played as a midfielder at the football club Zenitin the northern capital of Russia – Saint Petersburg.

For several years Russian public fell in love with the Spanish football player. Javier Garcia moved to the Russian club from the English “Manchester City”. For FC “Zenit” Javi played 108 games and scored 7 goals. In addition, as part of “Zenit”, he became the Champion of Russia in the season 2014/2015, won the Russian Cup and the Russian Super Cup in the season 2015/2016. In 2015, Javi Garcia was recognized as one of the best football players in Russia (ranked second among the 33 best football players in Russia), and at the end of the season 2016/2017, he was recognized as the best player by the fans of FC “Zenit”[2]. Everyone would agree that Javier Garcia’s football career in Russia was quite successful.

Spanish Football player in Russia
Javi Garcia, Zenit

Rubén Rochina Naixes

Rubén Rochina Naixes from 2016 to 2018 played as a forward in the football club “Rubin” from Kazan. Spanish football player moved to Kazan after two years in the Spanish football club “Granada”. “Rubin”, in turn, went to pay compensation for the Spanish player, which was stipulated in his contract. Ruben Rochina trained in the academies of such football clubs as “Valencia” and “Barcelona”, but unfortunately, Ruben Rochina played only 9 games for the Russian club and scored 1 goal.[3]

Rubén Rochina Naixes, Rubin

César González Navas

César González Navas spent 9 years in Russia playing for two football clubs as a defender. From 2009 to 2015 and from 2017 to 2018, Navas played for FC “Rubin”, where he finished his professional career, and from 2015 to 2017 he played in the south of Russia at the football club “Rostov”.

During his career in the Russian Championship as part of FC “Rubin”, César Navas became the Champion of Russia in 2009, won Russian Super Cup in 2010 and 2012, as well as the Cup of Russia in 2012. In addition, Spanish football player became one of the best footballers in Russia for three times: in 2009 he was the second, in 2010 he was the third, and in 2017 he became number one. For 9 years in the Russian Championship he played 250 games, in which he scored 4 goals and during his long professional career in Russia, César Navas become a truly Russian football player[4].

César González Navas, Rubin

José Manuel Jurado Marín

José Manuel Jurado Marín from 2012 to 2015 played for the Russian football club “Spartak (Moscow)” as a midfielder. Jose Jurado trained in the academy of the Spanish football club “Real Madrid”. In 2012, “Spartak (Moscow)”, firstly, rented a Spanish player, and then a year later bought the player from the German football club “Schalke 04”. For FC “Spartak (Moscow)”, José Jurado played 77 games and scored 14 goals[5].

José Manuel Jurado Marín, Spartak

Russian football players in the Spanish league

Russian Players in Spanish Clubs

  • Alexander Mostovoy (Celta de Vigo)
  • Valery Karpin (Real Sociedad)
  • Denis Cheryshev (Valencia CF)
  • Dmitry Khokhlov (Real Sociedad)

Alexander Mostovoy

Mostovoy devoted 8 years of his professional career to play for the Spanish football club “Celta”, for which he played from 1996 to 2004. Alexander Mostovoy began his football career at “CSKA” and “Spartak (Moscow)”. Russian football player played as a defender and played 285 games in 8 years, and scored 72 goals. Alexander Mostovoy’s career in Spain was very successful and in Spain, he became famous for his performance in “Celta” and received the nickname “The Tsar of Balaidos” from the fans of the Spanish club[6].

Alexander Mostovoy, Celta de Vigo

Valery Karpin

Like Alexander Mostovoy, he conquered the Spanish championship. Valery Karpin’s career has been very different, as he spent 11 years of his professional career in Spain. From 1994 to 1996, Russian football player played in FC “Real Sociedad”, from 1996 to 1997 in FC “Valencia”, from 1997 to 2002 he played in FC “Celta”, and from 2002 to 2005 he again continued his career in FC “Real Sociedad”. For 11 years in Spain Valery Karpin played 442 games and scored 80 goals. Without a doubt, Valery Karpin’s career in Spain was very successful.

Valery Karpin, Real Sociedad

Denis Cheryshev

He is the only Russian football player who still plays in the Spanish Championship. Denis Cheryshev’s football history began in Spain when his father Dmitry Cheryshev moved with his little son to play in the Spanish Championship. Cheryshev Jr. in his adult professional career, that started in 2012, played in such football clubs as: “Real Madrid”, “Sevilla”, “Villarreal”. At the moment, Denis Cheryshev plays in the football club “Valencia” as a midfielder. He has played 279 games and scored 43 goals. Denis Cheryshev has already become a Spanish football player with Russian roots, who is well known among Spanish fans[7].

Denis Cheryshev, Valencia CF

Dmitry Khokhlov

He has developed his professional career in the Spanish football club “Real Sociedad”, exactly from 2000 to 2003 Russian football player played for the Spanish football club and showed very good results. Dmitry Khokhlov was used as a player in many positions, thanks to his abilities. For 3 years Dmitry Khokhlov played 113 matches in the Spanish club, in which he scored 14 goals.

Dmitry Khokhlov, Real Sociedad

Foreign football players play in both Russian and Spanish championships. Football players can transfer to foreign clubs to develop their professionalism, gain experience or complete their professional careers. But there is no doubt that the practice of playing in a foreign club is useful and interesting for both professional and personal growth of the player.

[1] Javier Garcia. URL:

[2] This list of players is compiled for informational purposes only and is not an assessment.

[3] Rubén Rochina Naixes. URL:

[4] César Navas. URL:

[5] José Manuel Jurado Marín. URL:

[6] Alexander Mostovoy. URL:

[7] Denis Cheryshev. URL:

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