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Anzhi Makhachkala's best ever XI as club will cease to exist this summer

At one stage Anzhi Makhachkala were the richest club in the world and the talk of Europe, as they splashed the cash on household names.

But according to Russian Football News, the fallen giant will cease to exist this summer after failing to receive a license for the Russian third tier.

Anzhi once had the likes of Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto’o in their side and with the club facing an increasingly uncertain future, TBR has put together Anzhi Makhachkala’s best ever XI.

Anzhi Makhachkala’s best ever XI

Vladimir Gabulov

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The 10-time Russian international made 61 appearances for Anzhi across a two-year spell after arriving from Dinamo Moscow.

Gabulov registered 23 clean sheets from his 61 outings before returning to Dinamo in 2013. The 38-year-old called time on his playing career in November 2018 after a spell in Belgium with Club Brugge.

Andrey Eshchenko

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Eshchenko, who received 14 caps for Russia, joined Anzhi from Lokomotiv Moscow in January 2013 and went on to play 46 times for Makhachkala.

The 38-year-old retired in January 2022 after a six-year stay with Spartak Moscow where he is currently working as an assistant manager.

Jonathan Mensah

Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The Ghanaian international only played 19 games for Anzhi following his arrival from French side Evian in 2016.

Mensah, who has been capped 68 times for Ghana, hadn’t been in Russia for a year before joining MLS side Columbus Crew.

Christopher Samba

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The former Congo international had two spells with Anzhi after being signed from two different Premier League clubs on separate occasions.

Samba had been at Blackburn Rovers for five years before moving to Russia for the first time in February 2012. The dominant centre-back spent less than a year with Anzhi before being brought back to England by Queens Park Rangers.

After less than six months at Loftus Road, Samba moved back to Anzhi in July 2013 before moving to Dinamo Moscow a month later.

Roberto Carlos

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At the age of 38, Carlos was a statement signing in Anzhi’s ambitious project and one of football’s greatest ever left-backs spent 18 months in Russia.

The Brazilian legend played 28 times for Anzhi, scoring five goals and providing three assists.

Lassana Diarra

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Diarra, who played for both Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League era, as well as for the likes of Portsmouth, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain, moved to Anzhi from Los Blancos in September 2012.

The all-action French midfielder, who made 28 appearances for Anzhi, spent less than a year at the club before moving to fellow Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow.

Igor Denisov

Photo by Dmitry Golubovich/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Anzhi showed their financial might by signing Denisov from fellow Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg in the summer of 2013.

The 54-time Russian international may have only played for Anzhi three times but he was certainly one of their biggest domestic signings.

Balázs Dzsudzsák

Photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

The Hungarian legend joined Makhachkala from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2011, but the winger left Anzhi for Dinamo Moscow at the start of 2012.

Dzsudzsák only played for Anzhi eight times but the 35-year-old is still playing and he’s currently playing back in his homeland for Debrecen – the club where he started his professional career.

Willian

Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Willian, who like Diarra has represented both Arsenal and Chelsea during the Premier League era, joined Anzhi from Shakhtar Donetsk in January 2013.

The big-spending Russian club, who were coached by Guus Hiddink at the time, paid the Ukrainian giants £30m to sign the highly-coveted playmaker who became the latest superstar to form part of Anzhi’s expensively assembled squad.

The Brazilian international only spent seven months with Anzhi before being signed by Chelsea.

Yuri Zhirkov

Photo by Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images

Anzhi paid Chelsea £13.2m to bring Zhirkov back to Russia in August 2011 and the versatile left-footer spent two years donning the yellow jersey of Anzhi before moving to Dinamo Moscow.

Zhirkov, who has been capped 105 times for Russia, played 63 times for Russia and the 38-year-old is still playing professionally in 2022.

Samuel Eto’o

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Completing Anzhi Makhachkala’s best ever XI is none other than Cameroon legend Eto’o who signed for the once rich Russian club from Italian giants Inter Milan for £23.7m in August 2011.

Eto’o, who was one of the best strikers across Europe, scored 36 goals from 73 games for Anzhi before joining Chelsea in the summer of 2013.

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