Russian Premier League leaders Spartak Moscow celebrate 95th anniversary

Russian Premier League leaders Spartak Moscow celebrate 95th anniversary
Russian Premier League leaders Spartak Moscow celebrated their 95th year of existence on Tuesday.

The club were formed as MKS on April 18, 1922, and didn’t become known as Spartak until 1935 after several other name changes.  

Since then they have become the most successful club in Russian football history, winning 21 league titles and 13 Russian cups.

However, they have not claimed a major trophy since winning the Russian Cup in 2003 and last became Russian champions 16 years ago in 2001.

But that long title drought could soon be over.

Prior to the birthday celebrations, the Red-whites already had plenty to celebrate – they beat Russian Premier League rivals Zenit St. Petersburg 2-1 on Sunday at Otkrytie Arena.

Spartak went one up when Dutch forward Quincy Promes sliced a shot into the bottom corner on 21 minutes, sending the already buoyant crowd into raptures.

In the second half, former Spartak player Artem Dzyuba leveled for the visitors on 66 minutes. The Russia international made over 100 appearances for Spartak before moving to Zenit in 2015.

In the 80th minute, midfielder Aleksandr Samedov was put through on goal and slid his effort past Andrey Lunyov  to make it 2-1. Spartak held out for the win and a vital three points in the title race.

They sit 10 points clear of city rivals CSKA Moscow in second and 11 points ahead of third-placed Zenit.

Upon Spartak’s birthday, Promes congratulated fans in a special video message commemorating the anniversary.

“Hey Spartak fans! Happy birthday. 95 years - it’s very good. I’m happy to be at the club,” the player told fans in the video, which was published in Russian on his personal Instagram account.

And Spartak even received a message from FIFA’s official Twitter account, which wished the club a happy birthday.

The club celebrations were a little less wild than those of Spartak defender Dmitry Kombarov, who hired a lion for his five-year-old daughter’s birthday party in March.