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Anzhi Makhachkala Set To Fold After Not Receiving A License For Next Season

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Anzhi Makhachkala Set To Fold After Not Receiving A License For Next Season

When Samuel Eto'o signed for Anzhi Makhachkala back in 2011 he was the best paid player in the world but around 11 years later the club are set to fold.

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Eto'o moved from Inter to Anzhi in the summer of 2011, just over a year after helping the Italian side win the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble,

The Russian's signed him sixth months after their takeover by billionaire Suleyman Kerimov and made the legendary forward the highest paid in the world at the time, giving him €20 million-a-year, after taxes.

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Roberto Carlos was already at the club, who'd only just been promoted to the Russian top tier, whilst Yuri Zhirkov, Christopher Samba, Lacina Traore, Lassana Diarra and Willian would join over the next couple of years.

Former Chelsea star Willian playing for Anzhi. Image: Alamy
Former Chelsea star Willian playing for Anzhi. Image: Alamy

However, in the summer of 2013, Kerimov decided to cut his funding to the team and they quickly had to offload a whole host of their stars.

They hit rock bottom of the league with just three wins following all the departures and several years on, having been relegated to the third tier, they're set to fold.

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According to Russian football news, the Dagestani team have not been given a license to play in the third tier and will cease to exist this summer.


In a statement the club confirmed the news, saying, "The entire team of Anzhi made every possible effort to pass the licensing procedure and hoped for a positive outcome until the very end.

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"The club management understands the reasons for the refusal and adequately assesses the financial condition of the club. Every effort was made to pay off existing debts.

"Unfortunately, without the support of sponsors and partners, they were not enough.

"Anzhi would like to thank everyone who contributed to the history of the club's development. Thanks to everyone who has been with their favorite team for many years and faithfully believed in the best.

"We say thank you to all the players, coaches, staff of the club and the staff of the team, who with honor and dignity represented the colors of Anzhi on the fields of Russia and Europe."

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Eto'o playing against Liverpool for the Russian club. Image: Alamy
Eto'o playing against Liverpool for the Russian club. Image: Alamy

Even during the height of their wealth, the club were never able to break into the top two in the Russian Premier League, and still finished behind CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg.

They finished third in the 2012/13 season but never made it into the Champions League, they had relative success in reaching the last 16 of the Europa League, even beating Liverpool in the group stages.

The club did have at least one famous supporter, in the shape of UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, with Zenit fans chanting the former champion's rival's name, Conor McGregor, during a match in 2018.

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It's amazing that they've gone from being one of the richest clubs in the world to being completely extinct in the matter of 11 years.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Samuel Etoo, Russia

Ryan Sidle
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