The hype train was well and truly circling Stamford Bridge in June 2009.
Interim manager Guus Hiddink, who was also in charge of Russia at the time, had just led Chelsea to FA Cup glory. Before he boarded his horse to ride off into the sunset, he had a final message for owner Roman Abramovich. Even though the 25-year-old CSKA Moscow wingback had impressed Russia at Euro 2008, he wasn’t exactly a household name at the time. Although his nickname, “the Russian Ronaldinho,” first came to light, that hysteria quickly escalated. Continue reading “Yuri Zhirkov, Remembering the Russian Superstar”