- Address: Kaspiysk
- Country: Russia
- Capacity: 26,000
- Opened: 22 July 2003
- Main use: Football
- Tenants: Anji (football)
Extra stadium info – Anji Arena
The construction of the Anji Arena started in 2001. The venue, which was known as the Khazar Stadium, opened with a football match between Anji and Kuban. Anji won the match 1-0. The football club was founded in 1991. In 2011, Anji was purchased by Suleyman Abusaidovich Kerimov. Soon after the purchase of the billionaire, Anji made several high-profile signings.
Samuel Eto’o and Roberto Carlos
In 2011, Anji signed the Cameroonian football star Samuel Eto’o Fils. He became one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. Eto’o was widely regarded as one of the best African football players. The Brazilian football legend Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha, who won the FIFA World Cup with Brazil in 2002, also joined Anji in 2011. He won several international trophies with the Spanish side Real Madrid. Roberto Carlos was nicknamed The Bullet Man due to his powerful bending free kicks.
The former Dutch midfielder Guus Hiddink became the manager of Anji in 2012. In 1988, he won the European football championship with the Dutch side PSV from Eindhoven after beating the Portuguese side SL Benfica. Hiddink also managed Real Madrid, the first sports club with 100 million followers on its main social media page. He won a world championship title with Real Madrid in 1998.
Anji after severe budget cuts
Following severe budget cuts in 2013, Anji lost most of its key players and went on to finish bottom of the table. It resulted in relegation to the second level of Russian football. One year after the relegation, Anji returned to the Russian top division. They finished 13th place after the return. Anji won 6 games, they drew 8 games and they lost 16 games during that league season. They drew an average home attendance of 10,000 in those league games.