Rumori di Spogliatoio

The Estonian Football (Fight) Club

Angelo Palmeri1 Comment

Rumori's own ‘The Stig’ does not drive cars, at least not for us.

He writes stories. Stories you might not know or have

He takes us on his second ride through the territory where football borders with physical violence (the first two rides you can find here and here)

The Estonian Football (Fight) Club’ it is a cross club including players, managers, executives, fans. They share the passion for football. However, they have been men of action. Or unwilling victims.

In our new article for the ’Football Fight Club’, we introduce you four names who have shared their sports careers between football and kickboxing.

These four men share the same passion for a kickaround and a kick in the face.

They do it in the right place, in tournaments.

In fact, our selection includes players who have played in the top tiers of the Estonian league league system (Premium Liiga, Esiliiga A and B).

Rustam shows his guns (Garant)

Rustam shows his guns (Garant)

The first face we get acquainted is Rustam Gurbanov. Product of FC Puuma (a club famous for curious episodes), sadly he didn’t manage to compete in 2014 season. However, before that, he had five good spells in Esiliiga A with Kiviõli Tamme Auto and FC Kiviõli Irbis strips.

His debut was on the 17th of May 2009 aganist FC Valga Warrior whereas his first  goal was aganst JK Viljandi Tulevik double team.

In total he blasted 18 goals in 93 league games (2009-2013). He mostly played as defender and midfielder.

However, it’s not all...

Rustam is a really modern fighter from  K-1 and Muay Thai club Garant, located in Tallinn’s populous district of Lasnamäe.  

He is good both with hands and legs. He can kick sharply with a good coordination with his hands. His main feature is to hit his opponent in the body and climb up from there with his hands. Once he’s worn out the opposition, he finishes him with a strong jab or hook (check the below video - minute 1:43 - when he knocks out his Thai opponent). He is the most threatening when in close range to his rival. Just to remark the football/kickboxing crossover, he has been wearing Kiviõli Tamme Auto shorts in many ring’s fights.

At the end of 2014, he was nominated the ‘Estonian Thai-Boxer of the Year’. A prize earned thanks to his great performance throughout the year, including title victories in K-1 World Cup, Estonian Muay Thai Open 2013, Latvian Open Muay Thai 2013, Riga Muay Thai Open, and the Estonian Muay Thai Open in K-1 2014.

Rustam is a multiple champion both in K-1 and Muay Thai for Estonia and the Baltics. He has been very successful fighter in every Estonian biggest professional fighting tournaments such as ‘Fight Night, Nr1 Kes on parim?, Xplosion and Fightland. 

Rohtla enters the ring (The Stig)

Rohtla enters the ring (The Stig)

The next face is quite known to Premium Liiga football followers: Henry Rohtla.

Henry has played football all the time during his life. He started to play for JK Keila. Since then, he has climbed up from lower division until becoming a sub of Estonian Champions FC Levadia. Most of his playing time comes from FC Levadia double team.

This season might be the one of his breakthrough, despite the competition for playing time being really tough at the greens.

Rohtla’s career in Levadia started in 2013 when he played in Esiliiga A for the double team when he managed to play 31 games and hit 13 goals. Last season he achieved 5 games in Premium Liiga but didn’t score (he was very close in a derby game). In Esiliiga A he bagged 10 goals in 24 games.

However, this is not all from him either…

Henry Rohlta from Keila was one of the most promising young fighters in Estonia.

Under the fighters’ world point of view, the fact he quitted a career  to become a footballer was a big disappointment. On the ring, Rohtla used more his legs than his arms.

He used to keep the opponent away with front kicks and low kicks. By using this tactics, he managed to create the space for himself for counterattacks.  He was fast and this was the strongest side. The weakest side was when trying to defend himself as the opponent was hitting with fists. He represented Tallinna Taipoksiklubi and Team Moisar. He has knocked out on the ring Hannes Ilmjärv, Tallinn Taipoksiklubi coach. Henry has perfomed in pro tournaments as Fight Night and Team Moisar Fight Show.

The next two faces are brothers, twins.

Rando and Raido Leokin, both from Keila too, they are interesting characters.

They have performed both on the fighting ring and on a football pitch at a quite good level. They were both testing in SC Cambuur (NED) in 2012 and Raido has fought in pro tournaments Fight Night, Team Moisar events and Muay Thai Conflict.  Their style was quite similar. They were fighters who liked to move a lot on the ring and seek the oportunity to attack their opponent fast. They represented Keila’s top club, Team Moisar. Both of them have finished fighting at high level and are getting back to top football. At the end of 2014, they have been seen playing for Premium Liiga club Pärnu Linnameeskond at Aastalõputurniir, whether they are going to sign contracts with Pärnu isn’t sure yet.

One of the twos, Raido (

One of the twos, Raido (

They started their career in football after quitting fighting.

They moved together to FC Flora double team in 2012. In one and half year, Raido played 43 games in Esiliiga A and scored 10 goals, Rando  scored 13 goals with the same playing time and same number of games. True twins.

In the summer of 2013, they moved to Sillamäe Kalev. Raido debuted aganist FC Flora in Premium Liiga, but Rando didn’t have the chance to match his brother. Other than that, they both watched most of Premium Liiga games from the dugout. They also featured in Esiliiga B for Sillamäe’s double team where they both scored 6 goals, Raido in 18 games and Rando in 15. In 2014 they went back to JK Keila JK, whether we will be able see them in Premium Liiga again this season,  only time will tell.