Astana FC: history, league, players, manager, stadium (2022)

Astana FC: history, league, players, manager, stadium (2022)

Astana FC (Football Club) is a professional Kazakhstan Premier League football club based in Nur-Sultan. The team was founded after a merger by various teams from Alma-Ata and Almaty Megasport. Since its inception, Astana FC has achieved several feats including back to back league titles and other domestic cup victories.

why is fc astana in euro league
Astana FC (Football Club) is a professional Kazakhstan Premier League football club. Photo: @fcastana.kz
Source: UGC

Astana FC is one of the teams that are supported by the Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Fund known as Samruk-Kazyna. The club’s relatively short history already includes 5 Kazakhstan Super Cups, 3 Kazakhstan Cups, and 6 league titles. Check out this Astana FC info to learn more about this relatively new club.

History of Astana FC

The club was formed in 2008 after teams from Alma-Ata, and Almaty Megasport merged to form an entirely new club. Initially, the club was named FC Lokomotiv Astana in reference to Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, a national railway company.

Where are Astana FC from?

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The team is based in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan. The railway company then worked together with the city council of Nur Sultan to relocate the new team to a modern stadium. The move was also widely seen as a means of promoting the city of Nur-Sultan which had recently been made the country’s capital.

Where does FC Astana play?

The team’s stadium is known as the Astana Arena. It is a state-of-the-art stadium complete with a retractable roof and artificial grass pitch. The Astana FC stadium was officially unveiled in July 2009 with a game between FC Astana and the Kazakh youth team.

astana fc kazakhstan
Image: facebook.com, @galatasarayistanbul
Source: UGC

Besides being FC Astana’s home ground, the stadium is also used by the Kazakh national football team. The arena is located less than two miles from the centre of Astana between Kabanbay Batyr Avenue and Turan Avenue.

Players

Here is a look at the first-team squad.

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  • Aleksandr Zarutskiy - Goalkeeper
  • Dmitriy Nepogodov - Goalkeeper
  • Danil Podymskiy - Goalkeeper
  • Luka Simunovic - Centre-Back
  • Zarko Tomasevic - Centre-Back
  • Eneo Bitri - Centre-Back
  • Cadete - Left-Back
  • Sagi Sovet - Left-Back
  • Abzal Beysebekov - Right-Back
  • Lev Skvortsov - Right-Back
  • Antonio Rukavina - Right-Back
  • Islambek Kuat - Defensive Midfield
  • Sultan Sagnaev - Defensive Midfield
  • Maks Ebong - Central Midfield
  • Valeri Chuperka - Central Midfield
  • Mark Gurman - Central Midfield
  • Madi Zhakipbaev - Central Midfield
  • Meyrambek Kalmyrza - Central Midfield
  • Tigran Barseghyan - Left Winger
  • Pedro Eugénio - Left Winger
  • Marin Tomasov - Right Winger
  • Stanislav Basmanov - Right Winger
  • Abat Aymbetov - Centre-Forward
  • Fatos Beqiraj - Centre-Forward
  • Vladislav Prokopenko - Centre-Forward

As of January 2022, Astana FC manager is Srdjan Blagojevic who replaced Vladimir Yezhurov in November 2021.

Colours and crest

The team’s initial crest was developed in 2009 and consisted of the name Football Club Lokomotiv Astana with a blue-coloured round frame in the background and a bold letter ‘L’ in the middle. When the team was renamed in 2011, a new crest was designed to match the new name.

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The new crest included the team’s name in capital letters running along the top of a ball’s image. The name was followed by the words ‘football club’ in Russian and Kazakh. In 2013, a new version of the 2011 crest was unveiled. The version featured a shanyrak style ball with Kazakh patterns on each side.

In 2014, the current crest was unveiled. It featured images and words inspired by the Astana Presidential Club. The crest is much simpler and only consists of the team’s name under a seemingly flying ball. Initially, the team’s primary colors were blue and white.

However, the current team wears yellow and sky blue uniforms sponsored by the Sovereign Wealth Fund, Samruk-Kazyna. The colours can be seen on the Astana FC website. Adidas has been supplying FC Astana's kits since the team’s inception.

Additional information and images about the team can be found on the Astana FC Instagram page.

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State ownership

While most teams consider the monetary benefit of competitions their biggest incentive, it is a different story at Astana FC. The club is owned by the state of Kazakhstan and was created to promote the then-new capital city, Astana.

The club is officially owned by the state’s sovereign fund known as Samuryq-Qazyna. While there are barely any details regarding Astana FC salaries, it is possible that they are quite high. The fund is known for its vast assets, including airports, airlines, mines, banks, and firms in the gas industry.

Why is FC Astana in Euro League?

Keen football fans may have noted that Astana FC Kazakhstan participates in European competitions despite its home country being in central Asia. This is because a small part of the country’s territory is in Europe, thus making Kazakh teams eligible to play in European leagues.

The team was admitted to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) in 2002.

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FC Astana which league?

The team plays in the Kazakhstan Premier League. In 2021, it was the 13th season that the team played in the league. The defending champions got second place. Each team plays 22 games per season with the title going to the team with the highest number of points.

Astana FC is sufficient proof of how planning and state support can uplift a team to the pinnacle of a sport. It has taken a significantly short time for the team to dominate the Kazakhstan Premier League and achieve considerable success in Europe. This is undoubtedly one of the teams to watch.

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Source: Legit.ng

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