For more than a hundred years, football has lived in the capital of Russia and has won the hearts of its inhabitants. The authors of the weekly “Football” in the publishing house “ViseMedia” have published a gift guide to football Moscow. 

Along its historic streets, where the great football clubs of Russia were born at the beginning of the last century. Through its stadiums, where the Soviet team proved its right to be called the strongest on the continent and made its way to the victorious 1960 European Championship. On those squares that still keep the memory of the great football legends, and new places of power of football, where a new history of victories is now being created.

Capital football. How was the presentation of the Moscow football guidebook

We tried to make an amazing journey into the past. Together with our readers, we will walk through one of the most mystical places of old Moscow – Tyuffel Grove and learn the legend about the underground passage connecting the Simonov Monastery and the Torpedo stadium. We will imagine how in 1936 football players sewed a felt carpet by hand on Red Square in order to show Stalin this wonderful sport during the parade.

We will wander around Sokolniki for a long time, a park that is now considered a Spartak place, but where CSKA originates from . But of course, we will definitely look at Peschanka, where the corn workers used to land dozens of years ago, and now the new army arena rises, and in Petrovsky Park, at the famous Dynamo stadium. And of course, we’ll see what the first arena in Cherkizov was like.

Presentation of the book “Moscow Football”. Photo report by Sergey Dronyaev

We will also recall those places and teams that have already disappeared from the Moscow football map – the Air Force, Krylia Sovetov, Metallurg … And besides, we will learn many stories and legends of football Moscow. Why is the modern arena “Spartak” in Tushino so similar to the Roman Colosseum? Where the players of the Soviet Dynamo celebrated their victories. Why Lokomotiv owes its first trophy to the Hero of the Soviet Union Valery Chkalov. Where did the name “Torpedo” come from ? How did it happen that the horse became the totem of CSKA …

Weekly Football at the Sport exhibition. Photo report by Sergey Dronyaev and Maxim Seregin

But we have not forgotten that people make history, and any city is dead without its inhabitants. So the guides of our excursion will be the real stars of Moscow football – Lev Yashin, the Starostin brothers, Eduard Streltsov, Grigory Fedotov and many other legends of the clubs. Their victories permeate every football corner of the city, and their life stories best tell us why Moscow deserves to be a football capital not only in 2018.

An excerpt from the book “Football Moscow”
Stalin Stadium

… If you suddenly find yourself in the area of ​​the Lokomotiv stadium and you have a couple of hours of free time before the match, you simply have no right not to make a short trip into the Soviet past. Moreover, it is located very close – across the Shchelkovskoye highway, a kilometer from the arena in Cherkizov, not far from the former Cherkizovsky market. The Izmailovo stadium is located there. In the 1930s, it bore the name of Joseph Stalin.

There was no project in the capital at that time larger than the construction of this grandiose sports facility for 120 thousand spectators. If it had not been stopped, Lokomotiv would probably have played not in the modest Stalinist, but in the largest arena of the USSR, where they were going to hold not only football matches, but also tank parades. And there would be no “Luzhniki” – the center of the sports life of the whole country would be located not on the Sparrow Hills, but on the outskirts of Izmailovsky Park.

Some historians say that the idea of ​​building the Stalin Central Stadium took shape after the 1936 German Olympics. Allegedly, the leader of all nations, looking at the footage of the chronicle where Adolf Hitler hosted the parade at the imperial Olympiastadion, ordered to build an even more pompous sports arena. But this is not entirely true, if only because construction in Izmailovo began in 1933. However, the outlines of the Stalin Central Stadium on the models and sketches really do something like the arena in Berlin.

The project was grandiose. The main stadium of the USSR was planned to be made in the shape of a horseshoe. It was going to hold not only sports competitions, but also military parades, and it would be more convenient for tanks and armored vehicles to enter there from the open side. But even the stands that were not closed in a ring, according to the plan, could accommodate at least 120 thousand spectators, maximum – more than 200 thousand. And there was not a single sports facility in the world with the same capabilities. Huge towers with statues and terraces were planned on both sides of the “horseshoe”, and next to it – a whole city for athletes.

To understand how serious everything was, you just need to get off at the Partizanskaya metro station. According to the initial project, it was called “Stalin Stadium” or “Stadium of the Peoples of the USSR”. In order to bring tens and hundreds of thousands of fans to the grand arena, the station was made with two platforms and three railway tracks, and it was also planned that 12 escalators would be installed on it. But it was opened only in 1944, and nothing remained of the “sports” design – similar to antique statues of Soviet athletes …