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There is no doubt that the best football teams in the world originate from the Western Europe. Some of the best players are raised in Spanish football schools and play in Premiere League. However, there are some notable squads from the Eastern Europe that deserve some love. The world has seen spectacular footballers coming from Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. We want to talk about the most intriguing and strong squads from the Eastern Europe that can contest UEFA titles.

Olympiakos. Greece

This southern European team is one of the most interesting squads that recently has been on a steady rise. The team definitely can compete at the highest levels of competition. However, they are still struggling to find the right balance of strength that would make the team strong enough to puhs it over the board. The team holds #23 rank in both global and continental rankings and also never gives up its first place domestically. The weakest season happened in 2010 and since then the team has shown only positive results both domestically and internationally. UEFA ranks Olympiacos as a number 21 team in the whole Europe. With more than 40 domestic champion titles behind their belt, Olympiacos is clearly the best team in Greece.

As of right now, Olympiacos is a team that needs upgrades and loses players. One of the hottest news is the move of Arthur Masuaku to West Ham. The young French left back could potentially improve the defense of Olympiacos. Sadly, it never happened, but the team continues to explore its options in terms of improving their defensive capabilities. There are multiple rumored roster moves that Olympiacos considers right now.

One of the most anticipated moves was Dom Dwyer to Olympiacos. Tom Dwyer is a n undeniable star of previous MSL champions Sporting Kansas City. The US team heavily relies on this British forward who has been the heart of the offence for a long time. Despite Sporting’s willingness to keep this talented forward, Olympiacos still wants to get him and reportedly offered up to €4.5 million. Unfortunately for the Greeks, the transfer window closed and Tom Dwyer is still racking up numbers for Sporting.

Nonetheless, the most important part of their tactics is still defense and Olympiacos tried to approach multiple defenders. One of the most notable approached players is Michael Mancienne. The Nottingham Forest star is a perfect fit for the team. He is young, talented, and efficient. Sadly, this player is simply not interested in playing for Olympiacos.

With so many roster offers from Olympiacos being rejected, their desire to upgrade the team looked doomed. Olympiacos took on loan a couple of interesting players like Alberto de la Bella Madueño and Nicola Leali. The former came from Real Sociedad and the latter from Juventus. Both are band aids for the team. While Alberto looks like a promising veteran that can bolster team’s defense, Nicola Leali will surely not take the place of Olympiacoses main goalkeeper. Earlier in 2015, Olympiacos managed to pick up Seba whose talent has shown on multiple occasions. However, it looks like the only good upgrade. Other roster changes are mostly acquisitions of young Greek players.

We do not expect Olympiacos to do well on the international Arena. However, with the slump that Panathinaikos entered, the domestic title should be an easy grab for Olympiacos. Hopefully, the team will be able to pick up some promising talent during the mid-season transfer window, since they totally could use them. Options from Brazil, Scotland, Finland, Japan, and many other countries are still on the table until the middle/end of august.

AC Sparta Praha. Czech Republic

Sparta Praha was a solid European club for as long as it exists. Undeniably, the best squad in Czech Republic and multiple domestic league winner, this team is surely one that you can’t write off when it comes to UEFA competitions. The team finished second last year, but aims at improving its position in 2016/2017 season.
Some recent pickups were definitive upgrades and payed off greatly during the 2015 season. Many experts still praise the very idea of picking up Kehinde Fatai from Nigeria. This young forward managed to score 13 goals during his 41 showings and became one of the pillars of Sparta’s offence. His swift movements and sharp technique alongside immense stamina and speed make him a fierce opponent to face. Fatai is obviously not a contender for the “superstar” status as there are many forwards in Europe who are much better, but in the Eastern Europe he looks like a man to watch.

After eight years abroad, Michal Kadlec decided to return to Sparta. This defender plays center back or left back positions and is known for his ability to be in the right place in the right time. He was one of the star players in Bayer Leverkusen and later moved to Fenerbahce. Sadly, multiple injuries and the fall off of his efficiency made him a less interesting player and Turkish team decided to return the player back to its homeland. Michael Kadlec is a great defensive upgrade and certainly can free the midfield from deep fall backs if something happens.

Matěj Pulkrab is the hot deal of the season for Sparta. This 19-year old player from Slovan Liberec came earlier this summer and has already made huge impact of the offensive playstyle of the team. Matej is surely on his way to becoming a true star of Sparta Prague. The team will definitely look to buy out this star in the next season as right now he is on loan. Matej managed to score 4 goals in his first 7 matches and looks like veteran players do not scare him. He is supported by multiple veterans himself and definitely will deliver more goals.

With some definitive upgrades and reinforced with youth offence, Sparta Praha looks like a strong contender for domestic champion title. However, we are still not sure if the team prepared for international competition. Team’s rank is 34 in the world rankings and they picked in November of 2014. It is possible that with this roster they will manage to improve their global rank in the nearest future.

Dynamo Kyiv. Ukraine

The team is again on the rise after slumping heavily for two years in a row. Ukrainian squad is notorious for its great performances both domestically and internationally. They were outshined by Shakhtar Donetsk for a couple of years, but since last season they definitely took over the league once again. Can this team truly shine again in the 2016/17 season? This is a question that will be answered only later this year when we see how they play with their updated roster.

One of the moves that greatly improved the very way Dynamo plays the field was Vitorino Artunes from Malaga. The Portugal veteran is a very reliable defender that can also accompany his offence when needed. He also has strong striking capabilities often shooting for the team and making penalties count. His presence on the field allowed Dynamo to decisively win 2015/16 season and show great results on the international arena. Accompanied by Alexandar Dragovich and Danilo Silva, Artunes makes the defensive lines look impenetrable to the opponents.

Two notable roster moves that improve Dynamo’s offence were made in 2015 and 2016 with signing Junior Moralez and Oleksandrr Hladkyy respectively. Both forwards are experienced players that can reliable score under any circumstances. While Junior Morales has proved his worthiness to the team scoring 11 goals during his 23 appearances, Oleksandrr Hladkyy has yet to have solid chances to score. We expect him to mesh well together with his Ukrainian teammates and make the team’s offence more cohesive.

Another roster move is Nikita Korzhun from Dynamo Minsk. This player is certainly one of the most notable acquisitions. He is young and at his 21 years wants to earn some recognition on the international level. Experts praise his ability to play with the team and open up opportunities for his teammates. He is a perfect supportive midfielder who can fall back to protect his side of the field or move in aggressively to make a precise pass to a striker.

With multiple great roster changes and promising talent, Dynamo Kyiv certainly makes a big bid on both domestic champion title and international titles. The team is more capable of winning big than it has ever been. They have a cohesive squad, strong offence, and reliable defense solidified by the existence of Dragovich, Silva, and Artunes. There is no doubt that the team will show some spectacular results in the nearest future. Hopefully, they won’t be upset by an underdog like Olympiacos were.

CSKA Moscow. Russian Federation

One of the most impressive Russian squads that has a solid history both domestically and internationally. The team can definitely perform much better than they do lately, but they surely need some power fire. With their recent roster moves and loans, the team can surely compete for the top spots in Russia. Is it enough to be a top contender on the international arena?

The return of Carlos Strandberg is a notable roster change. We still hope that this young swede can have a huge impact. He is young talented striker and managed to score 7 goals as a striker during his 12 matches played for AIK. This player can be much better if supported by technically proficient midfield and paired with another strong forward. Carlos Strandberg has great technique and physique allowing him to be a menacing striking force to deal with.

Lacino Traore is another notable pick up. While his showings were not the flashiest ones, he will face lesser competition in Russia. This may very well open up opportunities for the striker to shine alongside Carlos Strandberg. This duo has an explosive potential. If the midfield will deliver the ball to them regularly, we may definitely see some spectacular goals made by these young forwards.

CSKA obviously needs upgrades in its midfield. They have a reliable line of defenders, but the transitioning from defense to offence doesn’t necessarily look smooth enough. While the team didn’t pick up any profound midfielders, some of their players have just returned from loan. One of the most notable ins is Georgi Milanov. This Belorussian attacking midfielder was less impactful during 2013-15. However, it may very well be a consequence of having somewhat weakened offence. Now with both Traore and Strandberg being promising, Milanov can be of use for CSKA.

Vyacheslav Karavayev also returns back to his home club after playing for Jablonec and showing some respectful plays there. Being a dedicated defender he managed to score 3 goals and prevented far more from happening for the enemies. He is young and in his 21 can surely achieve greatness together with CSKA Moscow. Reportedly some teams have an eye on this player and he may simply move to another European team before the transfer window closes in the end of august. For the sake of the success of this team, we believe that he stays and improves CSKA’s defense.

CSKA has great potential and can definitely win its domestic title. However, on the international arena their competition is much tougher and Traore may not shine playing against top European teams. There are also concerns regarding this team’s old guard that form the defensive lines. They feel less motivated to win and it may outline new issues for CSKA.

Eastern Europe. Conclusion

There are very good teams in this region. We truly believe that teams from Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and other CIS and CEA countries can show up on the international arena and this is definitely a good year to do so. Both Dynamo Kyiv and CSKA are on the rise, Sparta Prague has shown some improvements, and Olympiacos seems to be getting out of slump. Is it possible that we can see an Eastern European team in the TOP3 of an UEFA competition? Hopefully. The situation looks promising. 

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