12.01.2022

Smolov’s first spell at Dynamo: Debut in Vladivostok, RPL third place, goals only away from home

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We have gathered the main facts about Smolov's previous seasons at Dynamo; six and a half years after leaving, the striker has returned to the Blue-Whites.

1 - Fedor Smolov signed his first contract with Dynamo in 2006, having joined the club from the Master-Saturn academy. Before that he was still playing football in his native Saratov and came to Lokomotiv Moscow on trial, but he was not signed up.

2 - Smolov played two games for the Russian national team while representing Dynamo. In November 2013, Fabio Capello's coaching staff called him up for friendly matches against Serbia and South Korea. Smolov appeared in both games, and scored against South Korea.

3 - At the third attempt Smolov made his first-team debut for Dynamo. On 18 April 2007, Dynamo head coach Andrei Kobelev took the 17-year-old striker to the second leg against Lokomotiv in the Russian Cup quarter-finals but did not bring him on the pitch, and three days later the youngster spent the entire game against Khimki in the RPL on the bench. The following week, Smolov flew with the club to Vladivostok; on 27 April, he played 63 minutes for the second team against Luch-Energia, and the next day he replaced Cicero for the first team near the end of the game to make his professional debut.

4 - Smolov scored four goals for the Dynamo senior side, and all of them came on the road. His first goal came against Krylia Sovetov on 27 September 2008 as the Blue-Whites left Samara with a 3-3 draw. On 15 April 2009, the forward helped Dynamo beat Spartak in the Russian Cup quarter-finals with an 89th-minute goal to seal a 3-0 win. Smolov scored his next goals more than two years later in May 2011, earning away victories over Spartak Nalchik (3-2) and Krasnodar (1-0) in the RPL. He didn’t score again before leaving in 2015.

5 - Smolov had five shirt numbers during his career at Dynamo. The Blue-Whites first announced the player in 2007 with the number 40 on his back, and he spent the next season wearing it. In 2009 and 2010, Smolov switched to 11, before changing to 27 during the 2011/12 season. He also wore nine (2013/14) and ten (2014/15).

12 - Smolov scored 12 goals when out on loan from Dynamo. The first trip was to the Netherlands with Feyenoord for six months in 2010, for whom he played 14 games and scored one goal. He then twice joined Anzhi Makhachkala with whom he finished third in the 2012/13 RPL season, but couldn’t escape relegation to the FNL in the spring of 2014, having accumulated three goals in 41 matches across both spells. Smolov started the next season at Dynamo, but then left for Ural before the end of the championship and plundered eight goals in 23 matches.

13 - For more than 13 years, Dynamo have not finished in the top three in the RPL; the last time they managed it was with Smolov in the squad, in 2008. Then the striker was 18 years old, and scored once in seven matches (against Krylia Sovetov). Now Smolov has returned to Dynamo, who went into the winter break second in the table, two points behind Zenit.

41 - Smolov appeared in 41 Dynamo matches alongside Anton Shunin – the only player who remains at the club from Smolov’s last spell. The goalkeeper and the striker played together for both the first and youth teams. Their first match together for Dynamo was against Luch-Energia on 28 April 2007, which was Smolov's debut and Shunin's first clean sheet at the senior level, with the last against Amkar on 26 October 2013 when both started before Smolov was replaced in the 76th minute. After leaving Smolov has scored six goals against Dynamo, with three of them conceded by Shunin.

77 - Smolov played 77 matches in all competitions for Dynamo, appearing most often under Andrei Kobelev with 35 games. Under his leadership, Smolov made his first-team debut, and scored his first goals at senior level, against Krylia Sovetov and Spartak. After Kobelev's departure, he worked with four coaches; Miodrag Bozovic (5 games), Sergey Silkin (20 games, 2 goals), Dan Petrescu (14 games) and Stanislav Cherchesov (three games).

90 - Smolov played 90 minutes in his last official match for Dynamo, a 2-0 win away to Ufa on 13 August 2014. In the next two matches he remained on the bench, and on 1 September he was loaned out to Ural, where Smolov became the top scorer with eight goals. In June 2015, he left Dynamo after his contract expired, but in January 2022 he returned after playing for Krasnodar, Lokomotiv, and Celta Vigo on loan from January to July 2020.

Dynamo’s first official match of 2022, and therefore Smolov's first opportunity to play for the Blue-Whites after a break of six and a half years, is on 27 February against Khimki. Alongside the Nizhny Novgorod vs Ural fixture the match at the Arena Khimki will open the spring part of the RPL season.

Photo: Konstantin Rybin / RPL; Saturn Moscow Region; Dynamo Moscow; Andrey Shramko / FC Krasnodar


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