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Astana
FC Astana Logo.svg
Full name Astana futbol kluby
Астана футбол клубы
Astana Football Club
Nickname(s) Sary-Kökter, Жёлто-синие (The Yellow-and-Blues)
Astanalyqtar, Астанчане (The Astaneses)
Qalalyqtar, Горожане
(The Citizens)
Founded 2009; 15 years ago (2009) as Lokomotiv Astana
Stadium Astana Arena
Stadium
capacity
30,254
Owner Samruk-Kazyna
General manager Arslan Bespayev
Manager Grigori Babayan
League Kazakhstan Premier League
2022 Kazakhstan Premier League, 1st of 14

Astana Football Club (Kazakh: [Astana Futbol Kluby] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) is a professional football club based in Astana. They play in the Kazakhstan Premier League, the highest level of Kazakh football. The club's home ground is the 30,254-seat Astana Arena stadium. The club colours, reflected in their badge and kit, are sky blue and yellow. Founded as Lokomotiv Astana in 2009, the club changed its name to Astana in 2011. They are members of the Astana Presidential Club, an association of the main sports teams in the capital supported by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna.

The short history of the club already boasts seven league titles, three Kazakhstan Cups and five Kazakhstan Super Cups.

History

Founding and first years (2009–2014)

On 27 December 2008, football clubs from Almaty Megasport and Alma-Ata announced they would merge to found a new club. The club was named "FC Lokomotiv Astana" as the National Railway Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy became a general sponsor. Kazakhstan Temir Zholy in cooperation with City Council of Astana decided to move the club to the new building stadium in the capital of Kazakhstan. Vakhid Masudov became the first head coach in the club's history. The club has benefited from a high salary role which has enabled them to attract players of status to the club. Andrey Tikhonov and Yegor Titov first of all came from the Russian Football Premier League. Several more followed such as Patrick Ovie and Baffour Gyan. Maksim Shatskikh later arrived from Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian Premier League which was again a very high-profile capture for the club. The majority of their other players have arrived from other clubs of the Kazakhstan Premier League, mostly on free transfers from the clubs which were absorbed to make the club and several which went into bankruptcy.

On 8 March 2009, Lokomotiv played in the league's inaugural match against Kazakhmys in Satbayev. In March 2009, Vakhid Masudov was replaced by Vladimir Gulyamkhaidarov. However, only two days after his appointment he was replaced by Russian specialist Sergei Yuran. The club earned silver medals in their first season of play. On 14 November 2010, Holger Fach guided Astana to their first Kazakhstan Cup success. However, they were ineligible for a UEFA license since they had not yet existed for at least three years. So they were not able to start in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League. On 2 March 2011, Astana beat Tobol 2–1 and won the Kazakhstan Super Cup for the first time. In 2012, Miroslav Beránek led Astana to win their second Kazakhstan Cup. In July 2013, the club made a debut in Europe playing in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League against Botev Plovdiv. Astana lost both matches, 0–1 at home and 0–5 away. On 4 July 2013, Astana officially joined to newly created Astana Presidential Sports Club, the organization supported by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna to combine the main sports teams in Astana.

Stoilov years: Domestic dominance and European breakthrough (2014–2018)

Guy Essame, Celso Borges and Bauyrzhan Dzholchiev (2014)
Match against AIK in 2014

On 22 June 2014, the club announced that former Botev Plovdiv manager Stanimir Stoilov was appointed as new head coach. In 2014–15 European campaign, Astana played four ties in the UEFA Europa League qualifying stages. In the first round they beat Pyunik 6–1 on aggregate, then raised more than a few eyebrows in the second round, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 3–1 on aggregate thanks to a convincing home leg win. The third qualifying round saw Astana cruise past AIK, with a 4–1 aggregate score. In the play-off round, Astana was defeated by Villarreal. On 1 November 2014, Astana became Kazakhstan Premier League champions for the first time in their history, securing the championship with a 3–0 home win against Kaisar.

On 1 March 2015, Astana won the 2015 Kazakhstan Super Cup, beating Kairat 3–2 in a penalty shoot-out after the match ended with the score 0–0. On 26 August 2015, the club became the first team from Kazakhstan to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, after beating APOEL 2–1 on aggregate in the play-off round. They were drawn in Group C alongside Benfica, Atlético Madrid and Galatasaray, where they managed to obtain four points in six games after four draws and two losses. On 8 November 2015, Astana clinched their second Kazakhstan Premier League title beating Aktobe 1–0 at home in the last tour game. On 9 December 2015, the club extended their contract with Stanimir Stoilov for the next two years.

In the 2016 season, Astana was eliminated from UEFA Champions League after two stages, being defeated by Celtic in the third qualifying round 3–2 on aggregate. However, the club qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stage, beating BATE in the play-off round. On 26 October 2016, Astana won their third straight championship under Stoilov's rule. On 19 November 2016, the club won the 2016 Kazakhstan Cup, defeating Kairat 1–0. Their 2017 Champions League bid was stopped short once again by Celtic, this time in the playoff round. Following an embarrassing 5–0 rout in Glasgow, they failed to reach the group stages in an 8–4 defeat on aggregate. However, Astana reached another milestone by reaching the knockout phase of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League after finishing second in the group phase. Astana extended further its domestic dominance by winning fourth consecutive title in the 2017 season. On 8 January 2018, Stoilov signed a new contract with Astana, but left the club on 1 March 2018 to take over the vacant Kazakhstan national football team's manager position.

Post Stoilov years: (2018–)

On the same day as Stoilov was announced as the new manager of Kazakhstan, 1 March 2018, Grigori Babayan was announced as the Astana's interim manager. On 1 June 2018, Astana announced Roman Hryhorchuk as the club's new manager. On 17 August 2018, Hryhorchuk left Astana on compassionate leave with Grigori Babayan again stepping in as Caretaker Manager. Astana announced on 3 January 2019 that Hryhorchuk would return to lead the team after missing the second half of the 2018 season due to family reasons. On 14 January 2019, Paul Ashworth was announced as the new executive director of FC Astana. Hryhorchuk left Astana by mutual consent on 13 January 2020. The following day, 14 January 2020, Michal Bílek was announced as the new head coach of Astana.

On 18 February 2020, Astana revealed a new logo to commemorate 10-years of the club.

On 26 August 2020, with Astana 2nd in the league and having just being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League, Michal Bílek was sacked as manager, with Executive Director Paul Ashworth taking over in a caretaker capacity. Ashworth his role as caretaker manager and Executive Director by mutual consent on 7 October 2020. Two days later, 9 October, David Loria was announced as the clubs new Executive Director. On 16 October 2020, former captain Andrey Tikhonov was appointed as the clubs new manager.

On 5 November 2021, Astana announced the departure of Andrey Tikhonov as their manager, with Srđan Blagojević being announced as the clubs new head coach on 21 November 2021. On 13 September 2022, Blagojević left Astana by mutual consent to become Head Coach of Debreceni, with Grigori Babayan returning to the club as their new Head Coach.

Stadium

Astana's current home venue is Astana Arena. The stadium has been Astana's home since the mid of the 2009 season, when the club moved from the Kazhymukan Munaitpasov Stadium. The stadium holds 30,254 and has a retractable roof. The inaugural match at the new stadium was a 2–1 win over the Kazakhstan national under-21 football team in a friendly match. It is also serves as a national stadium for the Kazakhstan national football team.

A panorama of Astana Arena from the Eastern Stand, showing from left to right the Southern Stand, the Western Stand and the Northern Stand

Colours and crest

FC Lokomotiv Astana Logo
Crest used as Lokomotiv Astana

The team's original crest was implemented in 2009 consisting of the team's name, Football Club Lokomotiv Astana, on a blue round frame and a blue coloured letter "L" in the center, meaning railway track. As the result of renaming in 2011, the club adopted a new crest. The crest consisted of the team's name with uppercase letters on an image of the ball. This was accompanied by the words "football club" in Kazakh and Russian languages on the top and bottom of the crest. On 23 January 2013, the club presented a new crest, which replicated the style and colours of the Lokomotiv Astana crest. The crest consisted an image of the ball in a shanyrak style and two Kazakh national patterns on each side. The present club crest was introduced on 10 March 2014, and incorporated the Astana Presidential Club crest's style and colours as well as BC Astana, Astana Pro Team and Astana Dakar Team. The crest consists of the team's name, Astana Football Club, under a flying ball.

Blue and white were initially the club's primary colours, the team's nickname was the "Blue-and-White". Blue was used to accent the home jersey while white was the main colour of the team's away kit. During the 2012 season, Astana wore yellow and blue striped shirts and blue shorts as home kit and wholly blue away kit. In 2013, they retrieved original colours used from 2009 to 2011. In 2013, the club joined to Astana Presidential Club and adopted its colours. The present club colours are sky blue and yellow. Astana's current shirt sponsor is Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna. The club's first kit sponsorship was from national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy who sponsored the club for a total of 4 years before ending the deal in 2013. The team's kit supplier is Adidas who have supplied the club kits since their inception.

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2009–2014 Adidas Kazakhstan Temir Zholy
2014– Samruk-Kazyna

Players

First team squad

No. Position Player
3 Belarus DF Artsyom Rakhmanaw
5 Kazakhstan DF Mikhail Gabyshev
7 Belarus MF Max Ebong
8 Kazakhstan MF Islambek Kuat
10 Croatia MF Marin Tomasov
11 Kazakhstan MF Aslan Darabayev
13 Armenia DF Kamo Hovhannisyan
14 France MF Jérémy Manzorro
15 Kazakhstan DF Abzal Beysebekov (captain)
17 Kazakhstan FW Abat Aymbetov
19 France FW Keelan Lebon
20 Kazakhstan FW Vladislav Prokopenko
No. Position Player
22 Kazakhstan MF Sultan Sagnayev
27 Kazakhstan MF Timur Dosmagambetov
28 Kazakhstan MF Yury Pertsukh
29 Serbia MF Dušan Jovančić
31 Kazakhstan GK Danil Podymksy
32 Kazakhstan DF Talgat Kusyapov
34 Serbia GK Marko Milošević
52 Kazakhstan DF Rakhat Maratov
55 Kazakhstan GK Aleksandr Zarutskiy
72 Kazakhstan FW Stanislav Basmanov
77 Portugal MF Pedro Eugénio

Out on loan

No. Position Player
18 Kazakhstan DF Sagi Sovet (at Maktaaral)

For recent transfers, see 2022 FC Astana season.

Retired numbers

No. Player Nationality Position Astana debut Last match Ref
1 Erić, NenadNenad Erić  Kazakhstan Goalkeeper 12 March 2011 27 November 2020

Non-playing staff

Management

Position Staff
General Manager Kazakhstan Mikhail Gurman
Executive Director Kazakhstan David Loria
CEO'S Counselor Kazakhstan Alexander Konochkin
Sporting Director Kazakhstan Gani Kainazarov
CFO Kazakhstan Erlan Akmagambetov
Senior Media Officer Kazakhstan Dmitriy Nesterenko

Last updated: 14 October 2020
Source: FC Astana

Coaching staff

Position Staff
Manager Kazakhstan Grigori Babayan
Assistant Manager Serbia Dejan Fiala
Assistant Manager Kazakhstan Kairat Nurdauletov
First Team Goalkeeping Coach Serbia Milan Stojkovic
First Team Fitness Coach Serbia Branko Ciric
First Team Analyst Kazakhstan Magomed Nozadze

Last updated: 22 January 2022
Source: FC Astana

Notable managers

The following managers won at least one trophy when in charge of Astana:

Name Period Trophies
Germany Holger Fach 2010–2011 Kazakhstan Cup, Kazakhstan Super Cup
Czech Republic Miroslav Beránek 2012–2013 Kazakhstan Cup
Bulgaria Stanimir Stoilov 2014–2018 Kazakhstan Premier League (4), Kazakhstan Cup, Kazakhstan Super Cup
Kazakhstan Grigori Babayan 2018 Kazakhstan Premier League, Kazakhstan Super Cup
Ukraine Roman Hryhorchuk 2018–2020 Kazakhstan Premier League, Kazakhstan Super Cup
Czech Republic Michal Bílek 2020 Kazakhstan Super Cup
Kazakhstan Grigori Babayan 2022 Kazakhstan Premier League

Honours

  • Kazakhstan Premier League
Winners (7): 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
  • Runners-up:(3) 2009, 2013, 2021
  • Kazakhstan Cup
Winners (3): 2010, 2012, 2016
  • Runner-up:(1) 2015
  • Kazakhstan Super Cup
Winners (5): 2011, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Runners-up: (4) 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021

Statistics

Seasons

Season Rank P W D L F A GD Pts Cup CL EL ECL
2009 2 26 20 0 6 54 24 30 60 2R
2010 4 32 14 8 10 41 28 13 50 Won
2011 4 32 16 7 9 50 37 13 33 2R
2012 5 26 13 7 6 34 24 10 46 Won
2013 2 32 19 5 8 56 28 28 38 QF 1QR
2014 1 32 18 10 4 63 26 37 45 SF PO
2015 1 32 20 7 5 55 26 39 46 Runner-up GS
2016 1 32 23 4 5 47 21 26 73 Won 3QR GS
2017 1 33 25 4 4 74 21 51 76 R16 PO R32
2018 1 33 24 5 4 68 22 40 77 R16 PO GS
2019 1 33 22 3 8 67 28 39 69 R16 1QR GS
2020 3 20 11 3 6 32 21 11 36 1QR 2QR
2021 2 26 17 6 3 53 25 28 57 SF 3QR
2022 1 26 16 5 5 65 24 41 53 SF 2QR
Key

Rank = Rank in the Kazakhstan Premier League; P = Played; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points; Cup = Kazakhstan Cup; CL = UEFA Champions League; EL = UEFA Europa League; ECL = UEFA Europa Conference League.
in = Still in competition; — = Not attended; 1R = 1st round; 2R = 2nd round; 3R = 3rd round; 1QR = 1st qualifying round; 2QR = 2nd qualifying round; 3QR = 3rd qualifying round; PO = Play-off round; GS = Group stage; ; R32 = Round of 32; R16 = Round of 16; QF = Quarterfinals; SF = Semifinals; F = Final.

European record

Competition Pld W D L GF GA GD
UEFA Champions League 31 11 10 10 37 45 −8
UEFA Europa League 47 17 9 21 64 74 –10
UEFA Europa Conference League 6 1 1 4 7 13 –6
Total 83 29 20 35 108 132 –24
Key

1QR = 1st qualifying round; 2QR = 2nd qualifying round; 3QR = 3rd qualifying round; PO = Play-off round; GS = Group stage; R32 = Round of 32.

UEFA coefficient

The table shows the position of FC Astana (highlighted), based on their UEFA coefficient club ranking, and four clubs, which are closest to FC Astana's position (the two clubs with the higher coefficient and the two with the lower coefficient).

Rank Team Points
62 Belgium RSC Anderlecht 25.000
63 Germany TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 23.000
64 Kazakhstan Astana 22.500
65 Belgium Standard Liège 22.000
66 Netherlands AZ Alkmaar 21.500

As of 23 April 2021.

Records

As of match played 23 April 2021

  • Record European victory 4–0 v. Maccabi Tel Aviv (19 October 2017)
  • Record European defeat  6–0 v. AZ (24 October 2019)
  • Record League victory – 7–0 v. Atyrau (9 September 2017)
  • Record League defeat – 0–5 v. Irtysh (26 May 2011)
  • Most League wins in a row – 8, 7 April 2009 – 30 April 2009
  • Most League appearances – 227, Nenad Erić 2011–2020
  • Most appearances overall – 318, Nenad Erić 2011–2020
  • Most goals scored in a League season – 19, Junior Kabananga 2017 & Marin Tomasov 2019
  • Most goals scored in a season overall – 26, Marin Tomasov 2019
  • Youngest first-team player – Madi Zhakypbayev, 15 years, 11 months, 21 days
  • Oldest first-team player – Andrey Tikhonov, 39 years, 9 days

Most appearances

Players played over 50 competitive, professional matches only. Appearances as substitute (goals in parentheses) included in total.

Name Years League Cup Super Cup Europe Total
1 Kazakhstan Abzal Beisebekov 2009, 2012–present 260 (12) 31 (1) 9 (0) 59 (2) 359 (18)
2 Kazakhstan Nenad Erić 2011–2020 227 (0) 16 (0) 7 (0) 68 (0) 318 (0)
3 Kazakhstan Dmitri Shomko 2011, 2014–2020 194 (7) 8 (0) 7 (0) 67 (5) 276 (12)
4 Kazakhstan Yevgeny Postnikov 2014–2021 149 (2) 10 (0) 6 (0) 58 (3) 223 (5)
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina Marin Aničić 2014–2019 148 (5) 7 (0) 5 (0) 52 (6) 212 (11)
6 Kazakhstan Tanat Nusserbayev 2011–2016 152 (46) 18 (5) 3 (0) 24 (3) 197 (54)
7 Croatia Marin Tomasov 2017, 2018–Present 137 (71) 10 (2) 5 (3) 39 (14) 191 (90)
8 Kazakhstan Serikzhan Muzhikov 2014, 2015–2019 122 (16) 10 (1) 3 (0) 54 (2) 189 (19)
9 Ghana Patrick Twumasi 2013, 2014, 2015–2018 123 (48) 9 (6) 4 (0) 35 (15) 171 (69)
10 Kazakhstan Roman Murtazayev 2017–2019, 2021 110 (25) 3 (0) 4 (0) 36 (5) 152 (30)

Top goalscorers

Competitive, professional matches only, appearances including substitutes appear in brackets.
Name Years League Cup Super Cup Europe Total
1 Croatia Marin Tomasov 2017, 2018–Present 71 (137) 2 (10) 3 (5) 14 (39) 90 (191)
2 Ghana Patrick Twumasi 2013, 2014, 2015–2018 48 (123) 6 (9) 0 (4) 15 (35) 69 (171)
2 Kazakhstan Tanat Nusserbayev 2011–2016 46 (152) 5 (18) 0 (3) 3 (24) 54 (197)
4 Democratic Republic of the Congo Junior Kabananga 2015–2018, 2018–2019 31 (77) 3 (5) 2 (2) 6 (44) 42 (128)
5 Central African Republic Foxi Kéthévoama 2012, 2013–2015 26 (109) 5 (13) 1 (2) 2 (22) 34 (146)
6 Kazakhstan Roman Murtazayev 2017–2019, 2021 25 (110) 0 (3) 0 (4) 5 (36) 30 (152)
7 Moldova Igor Bugaiov 2010–2011 18 (57) 6 (6) 2 (1) - (-) 26 (64)
8 Portugal Pedro Eugénio 2021–Present 18 (29) 6 (9) 0 (0) 0 (6) 24 (44)
9 Serbia Đorđe Despotović 2016–2018 14 (53) 3 (4) 0 (2) 3 (19) 20 (78)
10 Kazakhstan Sergei Ostapenko 2010, 2012–2014, 2015 16 (82) 2 (13) 1 (1) - (-) 19 (96)
10 Kazakhstan Serikzhan Muzhikov 2014, 2015–2019 16 (122) 1 (10) 0 (3) 2 (54) 19 (189)
10 Kazakhstan Abat Aymbetov 2021–Present 15 (33) 3 (9) 0 (0) 1 (4) 19 (46)

Partnerships

On 11 November 2013 it was announced that Astana had partnered with the La Liga team Real Sociedad to cooperate in terms of exchange of skills and knowledge, organization of friendly matches, training camps for youth development and grassroots football.
  • Turkey Galatasaray S.K. (2014–present)
On 29 April 2014 it was announced that Astana Presidential Club had signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Galatasaray Sports Club. The memorandum chiefly provides for cooperation between the Astana and Galatasaray S.K. football departments.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: FK Astaná para niños

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