Russian giants fire brutal parting shot as foreign star quits
Russian football club Spartak Moscow couldn’t resist a dig at striker Jordan Larsson after it was confirmed that the Swedish star’s contract had been terminated.
Spartak announced on Monday that Larsson – who is the son of former Celtic and Barcelona icon Henrik Larsson – would be walking away from the club ahead of the new campaign.
The 25-year-old recently told the media in Sweden that he was hoping to avoid going back to Russia after spending the backend of last season on loan at AIK in his homeland.
Larsson had taken advantage of a FIFA ruling which allowed foreign players to unilaterally suspend their contracts at Russian clubs in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine – a policy which the global football governing body announced last week that it was extending to cover the 2022/23 season.
Spartak said in their statement that agreement had been reached with Larsson to terminate his contract by mutual consent, making him a free agent.
The club’s brief announcement on its website thanked Larsson for his time in the Russian capital, where he played 83 matches and scored 27 times.
Larsson enjoyed a positive first two seasons at Spartak after joining from IFK Norrkoping in 2019, helping the team to a second-place finish in the Russian Premier League in 2021 and netting 15 times in the process.
However, his impact faded badly last season, with Larsson failing to find the net in any of his 17 Russian Premier League outings before his loan move to AIK in April.
That paltry output was picked up on by the Spartak social media team in a mocking message on Telegram after his exit was confirmed.
The James Bond-style post cruelly pictured Larsson as ‘Agent 007’ – breaking down the numbers as ‘0 goals’, ‘0 assists’, and ‘7 interviews’, seemingly in a jab at Larsson’s recent spate of public comments that he wanted out of Spartak.
The ‘007’ reference was infamously first used by Sky Germany to taunt Jadon Sancho’s tough start to life at Manchester United after the English winger moved from Borussia Dortmund last year.
Meanwhile, there is ongoing uncertainty at Spartak over the fate of another foreign star after it was reported that ex-Chelsea ace Victor Moses had not reported for pre-season training.
Russian football officials have reacted angrily to FIFA’s decision to allow foreign players and coaching staff to unilaterally suspend contracts at Russian clubs because of the conflict in Ukraine.
In a joint statement, the Russian Football Union (RFU) and Russian Premier League suggested they could take legal action, calling the ruling “discriminatory” and arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for the rights of clubs and the validity of contractual obligations.