Kurban Berdyev has signed a new two-and-a-half-year deal as FC Rubin Kazan coach, tying him to the UEFA Europa League hopefuls until summer 2015.
Ashkhabad-born Berdyev has been at the club since 2001, leading them to their first top-flight titles in 2008 and 2009, and with it their first taste of UEFA Champions League football. Yet his future had been in doubt until, on the eve of his old contract expiring, the 60-year-old agreed new terms. He will see him step back from his other role as vice-president, with former Kazan mayor Kamil Iskhakov replacing him in the post.
Berdyev started his coaching career in Kazakhstan, having spells in Turkmenistan and Turkey before taking the reins at Russian side FC Kristall Smolensk in 2000. Within a year he had moved to Rubin, winning the second tier in 2002, finishing third in 2003 and leading them to their first league championship in 2008.
They won the title again in 2009 and last season's sixth-place finish represented a disappointment, though Rubin did claim the Russian Cup for the first time. Going into the winter break this term they are seventh, 12 points adrift of leaders PFC CSKA Moskva. They resume in March but first take on UEFA Europa League holders Club Atlético de Madrid in the round of 32 in February.
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