Russian Premier League
The Russian Football Championship (Russian: Чемпионат России по футболу), currently called SOGAZ Russian Football Championship (Russian: СОГАЗ — Чемпионат России по футболу) due to sponsorship reasons, is the top division of Russian football. The competition is currently run by the Russian football Premier-League (Russian: Российская футбольная Премьер-Лига). There are 16 teams in the competition. The league has two Champions League qualifying places given to teams who finish in the top two at the end of the season and three Europa League places to teams who finish third, fourth and fifth. Relegation to the National League Championship are given to teams who finish bottom and second-bottom at the end of the season. The Russian Premier League was established in 2001 and succeeded the Top Division, the difference being that the Top Division was run by the Professional Football League of Russia, and the creation of the Premier League gave the clubs a greater degree of independence.
The Russian league has improved considerably lately, and the Russian Premier League is now ranked 9th by UEFA; at one point the league was ranked 6th.
FC Zenit Saint Petersburg are the current Russian Premier League champions.
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“Half a league, half a league,
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All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Forward the Light Brigade!”
—Alfred Tennyson (18091892)
“What man dare, I dare.
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—William Shakespeare (15641616)