Russian Super Cup

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The Russian Super Cup is an annual match organized jointly by the Russian Football Union and Russian Premier Liga between the RPL champions and the winners of the Russian Cup. The traditional season curtain-raiser takes place one week before the start of the RPL, with the winners awarded a trophy in the form of an elliptical glass vase atop an ebony base.

The idea to identify the strongest between the league and cup champions was already implemented in Russian football during the Soviet period when Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper proposed the Cup of the Season. The innovation didn’t quite take off as the tournament was held irregularly, and its regulations were inconsistent. 

Although some opponents played on neutral ground, others held games home and away, while timings ranged from early spring to late autumn. In 1987 Dynamo Kyiv and Torpedo Moscow simply held a penalty shootout after the end of a regular USSR Championship game which ended in a draw.

In the 21st century the Russian Football Union and the Russian Premier Liga had a more thoughtful approach to the project. New title sponsors were found, with the game itself permanently moved to a week before the RPL’s opening matchday to serve as a prelude to the season.

For the first six Super Cups the reigning league champions emerged triumphant. However, in 2009 the tradition was broken by the Russian Cup winners CSKA Moscow, who won the fourth Super Cup in the club’s history. Of the 17 Russian Super Cups to date, only four have not been won by the league champions. 

According to tournament regulations, if the reigning RPL champions also win the Russian Cup, their opponents will be the top flight runners up. This occurred in 2006 and 2007 when CSKA won the domestic double the previous seasons, taking on Spartak Moscow in both subsequent Super Cups. In 2011 the Armymen took part as the RPL runners up after Zenit St. Petersburg had claimed their own league and cup double in 2010.

Since the Russian Cup is open to all professional clubs, qualification for the Super Cup is not the preserve of RPL teams. For example, Terek Grozny (as Akhmat Grozny were then known) took on Lokomotiv Moscow in the 2005 Super Cup having won the 2004 Russian Cup as a second-tier side. This case shouldn’t be considered an absolute precedent though, as FC Terek were also promoted from the First Division, so at the time of the Super Cup match they were officially an RPL club.

Although RPL teams are obliged to take part in the Super Cup, lower league clubs are technically granted the right to refuse participation in the Super Cup up until 1 September of the previous year. In this case, their place is taken by the RPL runners up.

The Super Cup match is held according to the following rules:

  • if in regulation time (two equal halves of 45 minutes) the match ends in a draw, then extra time is assigned (two additional halves of 15 minutes each)

  • if at the end of extra time the draw remains, the winner of the match is determined by a penalty shootout in accordance with the Laws of the Game approved by the International Board (IFAB)

As if to show how tightly-fought the Super Cup is, only three of the last five editions have been decided within regulation time. 

The Super Cup trophy is handed over to the winners after the match to keep until 1 February. Players, managers and specialists of participating teams are also awarded with medals and certificates. Upon returning the trophy, they receive a replica for permanent storage. The right to choose strips, dressing rooms and substitute benches belong to the participant which is the valid Champion of Russia of the previous season.

If a club wins the Super Cup three times in a row or five times in total, they keep it permanently. In 2011 CSKA had a chance to do this after winning four times (2004, 2006, 2007 & 2009), but lost to Zenit in Krasnodar. Two years later they took the trophy home for good by beating RPL runners up Zenit, and have since gone on to win two more Super Cups to be the most successful entrants with seven wins.

The city, stadium, date and time of the match are determined jointly by the Russian Football Union and the RPL. The first eight Super Cups were all held in Moscow, with Lokomotiv’s RZD Arena hosting the first three after which the following five were held at the Luzhniki. In 2011 Kuban Stadium in Krasnodar held the first Super Cup outside Moscow, with only two subsequent editions taking place in the capital. The attendance record was set in 2008 when Zenit beat Lokomotiv 2-1.

All Russian Super Cup matches

Season

Champion of Russia

Score

Participant

Place

Crowd

2021

Zenit St. Petersburg

-

Lokomotiv Moscow
(Russian Cup Winner)

Kaliningrad Stadium

2020

Zenit St. Petersburg

2-1

Lokomotiv Moscow
(RPL Runner up)

VEB Arena Moscow

5 942

2019

Zenit St. Petersburg

2-3

Lokomotiv Moscow
(Russian Cup Winner)

VTB Arena Moscow

21 382

2018

Lokomotiv Moscow

0-1 (ET)

CSKA Moscow
(Russian Cup Winner)

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

43 319

2017

Spartak Moscow

2-1

Lokomotiv Moscow
(Russian Cup Winner)

Lokomotiv Moscow

24 444

2016

CSKA Moscow

0-1

Zenit St. Petersburg
(Russian Cup Winner)

Lokomotiv Moscow

22 000

2015

Zenit St. Petersburg

1-1
4-2 (pen)

Lokomotiv Moscow
(Russian Cup Winner)

Petrovsky St. Petersburg

17 337

2014

CSKA Moscow

3-1

Rostov Rostov-on-Don
(Russian Cup Winner)

Kuban Krasnodar

13 150

2013

CSKA Moscow

3-0

Zenit St. Petersburg
(RPL Runner up)

Olymp-2 Rostov-on-Don

15 200

2012

Zenit St. Petersburg

0-2

Rubin Kazan
(Russian Cup Winner)

Metallurg Samara

16 284

2011

Zenit St. Petersburg

1-0

CSKA Moscow
(RPL Runner up)

Kuban Krasnodar

22 500

2010

Rubin Kazan

1-0

CSKA (Moscow)
(Russian Cup Winner)

Luzhniki Moscow

17 000

2009

Rubin Kazan

1-2 (ET)

CSKA Moscow
(Russian Cup Winner)

Luzhniki Moscow

15 000

2008

Zenit St. Petersburg

2-1

Lokomotiv Moscow
(Russian Cup Winner)

Luzhniki Moscow

48 000

2007

CSKA Moscow

4-2

Spartak Moscow
(RPL Runner up)

Luzhniki Moscow

45 000

2006

CSKA Moscow

3-2

Spartak Moscow
(RPL Runner up)

Luzhniki Moscow

43 000

2005

Lokomotiv Moscow

1-0

Terek Grozny
(Russian Cup Winner)

Lokomotiv Moscow

11 000

2004

CSKA Moscow

3-1 (ET)

Spartak Moscow
(Russian Cup Winner)

Lokomotiv Moscow

18 000

2003

Lokomotiv Moscow

1-1
4-3 (pen)

CSKA (Moscow)
(Russian Cup Winner)

Lokomotiv Moscow

15 000

Clubs – Partisipants of matches for Super Cup of Russia

Club

Total wins

Total Participations

CSKA Moscow

7

11

Zenit St. Petersburg

5

8

Lokomotiv Moscow

3

8

Rubin Kazan

2

3

Spartak Moscow

1

4

Terek Grozny

0

1

Rostov Rostov-on-Don

0

1

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