Season 1966 was due to answer the question whether Rubin, a newcomer of Class A, was able to gain a foothold and to survive a competition with more experienced clubs. Club coaches counted on the footballers succeeded in the previous year. Only three players were added – a goalkeeper Ilyas Galimov returned from Leningrad, and forwards Murad Zadikahvili from Kutaisi and Nikolay Vorobyov from Yoshkar-Ola came. First three games were played away. After a zero draw in Batumi and a loss from «Kuban» in Krasnodar the kazanners gained revenge from «Spartak» in Nalchik for the loss in the final of 1965. 2:1 – that was the first win in Class A. The first goal was scored by Alexey Beryuchevsky.
Kazan had to wait for the grand opening of the season until May, 2. That day 22 000 spectators greeted the win over «Dynamo» from Kirovabad. The only goal was scored by Murad Zadikashvili. In the final table «Rubin» stands at the honorable fifth position.
Next year of 1967 considerable changes happened in the squad. The leaders of last years Fomin, Golubev and Novichkov finished to play for the team. «Rubin» had to start forming the middle line from the beginning. Skilful Vladimir Savelyev returned home from «Krylia Sovetov» (Kuibyshev). In the defensive line appeared: Vyacheslav Bulavin who became later famous as a player and a head coach of «Zenit» (Leningrad), and Gennadiy Klimanov, captain of RSFSR Youth Squad. A resulting striker Nikolay Penzin appeared in the attack.
A the final standings «Rubin» has raised its position if to compare with the previous season, it was the 4th position. In USSR Cup the kazanners succeeded in achieving ⅛ final, where they lost to «Chornomorets» (Odessa) – 1:3.
Next year of 1968 Kazan club reduced its positions – the 5th place, but some noticeable events occurred during the season. The most bright one of them was a debut of young and unknown 19-years-old Viktor Kolotov, captain of USSR National Squad in the future. Viktor has become the only «Rubin’s» footballer who has played for USSR. He scored his first goal just in the first match against Yugoslavia on October,28 in 1970. In general Kolotov has played 55 games and scored 22 goals for the National Team.
In the season of 1969 «Rubin» was close to change the Second Group of Class A for the First one. At the Second Stage «Rubin» in one point left behind the winner – «SKA» (Khabarovsk). And the team repeated the success of 1967, reached ⅛ final of USSR Cup, where has lost to «Sudostroitel» (Nikolaev) at the extra-time.
In 1970 the structure of the football tournament was modified. United First League was made, and 22 best-of-1969 teams were included.
On a legal ground «Rubin» took his place among them. The debut was on April,11 in Krasnodar (0:1). After that an outdoor draw followed in Kharkov with «Metallist» – 1:1, Viktor Kolotov scored the first goal in the First league. Later followed several wins. In the season-1970 «Rubin» resulted at the 8th position. Hard times came. Viktor Kolotov left for «Dynamo» (Kiev). Ended their careers experienced Vlasov, Minnibaev and Muravyev. There were many newcomers in the team – 11 players. Only 3 of them – Stanislav Cheblukov, Yuri Ibraev and Pavel Zhelanov – were able to consolidate their positions. Besides, the team lost its Head Coach. Because of state of health Nikolay Sentyabrev has left the club. The season of 1971 the team finished at the last 22nd position and has left the First league.
Came time to form a new team, which will be able to return a former authority to Kazan football.