After reaching back-to-back Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Fours, CSKA Moscow starts a new season with one ambition – lifting its seventh continental crown. Last season, CSKA won the Russian League and the VTB United League titles and reached the Euroleague Final Four for the 10th time in 11 years. What would have been an amazing season for any other club left a bittersweet taste for CSKA fans. CSKA could not overcome Olympiacos in the semifinal and finished third overall. CSKA totals 44 league titles – 20 in the last 22 years since Russia became independent – and is also the dominant force in the VTB United League. Its six Euroleague crowns – tied for the second-most in competition history – demonstrate the impact CSKA has had on European basketball as one of the sport’s true powers. The club’s greatness goes back many years. CSKA was the dominant force in the Soviet League, where it racked up 25 titles between 1945 and 1990 thanks to legendary players who wore its colors over the years such as Sergei Belov, Vladimir Tkachenko, Gennadiy Volnov, Vladimir Andreev, Anatoli Myshkin and Sergei Tarakanov in addition to head coach Alexander Gomelskiy. CSKA and Real Madrid dominated the European Cup in the 1960s and the team remained competitive in the 1970s and through mid-1980s. CSKA won its first Euroleague title in 1961 and lifted the trophy again in 1963, 1969 and 1971. The birth of the Russian League gave CSKA a new arena to dominate and it proceeded to win nine consecutive crowns between 1992 and 2000. CSKA returned to the European elite by reaching the Euroleague Final Four in 1996 and the SuproLeague Final Four in 2001 behind a young Andrei Kirilenko. Coach Dusan Ivkovic led CSKA to three consecutive Final Fours between 2003 and 2005, as the club became once again the dominant force in Russian basketball. Players like Theodoros Papaloukas, J.R. Holden, David Andersen and Marcus Brown were among those expected to lift CSKA to glory in the 2004-05 season, but despite an incredible 60-4 record in all competitions, CSKA did not win the Euroleague title. That summer, Coach Ettore Messina arrived and CSKA reloaded the roster with Matjaz Smodis, Trajan Langdon and David Vanterpool joining Papaloukas and his crew. Massive success followed as CSKA downed two-time defending champion Maccabi in Prague for its first continental crown in 35 years. CSKA made it back to the title game in 2007 and then celebrated its sixth Euroleague championship by again beating Maccabi in the 2008 final. CSKA had a shot to repeat in 2009 after it rallied from 23 down to earn a chance to win at the buzzer, but Ramunas Siskauskas missed from downtown. CSKA returned to the Final Four in 2010, losing against Barcelona, and reloaded in 2011-12 with Nenad Krstic, Milos Teodosic and Kirilenko - who would earn Euroleague MVP honors that season. CSKA led 53-34 in the Euroleague final, but Olympiacos rallied in the final 12 minutes to win it down the stretch. CSKA returned to yet another Final Four last season, but once again the Reds stood on its way to success. CSKA comes back led again by Messina and no team will be more motivated to win the competition this season. Equally feared and respected by its opponents, CSKA is always one of the favorites to win it all.
Euroleague: 1961, 1963, 1969, 1971, 2006, 2008
VTB United League: 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13
Russian National League: 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13
Russian National Cup: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010
USSR National League: 1944/45, 1959/60, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1965/66, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1973/74, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1977/78, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1987/88, 1989/90
USSR National Cup: 1972, 1973, 1982