St. Petersburg Zenit: football club history and present, Russia

Present information about St. Petersburg Zenit

The Zenit of St. Petersburg (in Russian: officially Futbolny Klub Zenit) is a Russian football club with Headquarters in the city of St. Petersburg. It was founded in 1925 and plays in the Russian Premier League, the first division of Russian football. The club plays its home games at Krestovski Stadium. The team was founded in 1925 on the basis of several teams from the city of Leningrad and it was not until 1936 that it adopted the name of Zenit Leningrad, making the team part of the Zenit sports society. Zenit won its first title in 1944, when he won the Soviet Union Cup and in 1984 he was proclaimed champion of the Russian Premier League.

The club reached its best results to date in the late 2000s, when he won three Russian Leagues, the UEFA Cup and the European Super Cup of 2008. In 2005, the state company Gazprom became the majority shareholder of the Russian club. The club's traditional colors are blue, light blue and white. In fact, his uniform in the first Soviet championship was the blue steel and white, those of the sports society Zenit, the team of workers in the arms industry of Leningrad His shield, except in his stage as Stálinets, has hardly suffered variations throughout its history and simply It consists of the word "Zenit" stylized in Cyrillic characters. Zenit has played its matches historically at the Stadium YE. Kirov on Krestovsky Island, but he has also used Petrovsky Stadium in various periods, which is his stadium since 2006. Zenit opened its own stadium in 2017, which has 69,000 spectators and will be again located on the Island Krestovsky.


Origins of St. Petersburg Zenit football club

The history of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg is closely connected with the political history of St. Petersburg (known in different periods as Petrograd and Leningrad). In 1897 the first football match was held in Russia, in St. Petersburg, on Vasilievsky Island, a unofficial match between the English local team of the Ostrov and the Russian local team of Petrograd, in which the first won 6–0. The players of the local teams were fans and freely associated with each other. At the same time, several were founded Formal football clubs in St. Petersburg, mainly around large industrial companies. Membership of players were not official and somewhat flexible, since even the same players were allowed to play on several teams different during the same season.

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Formation of football club Zenit (1914 - 1924)

The original Zenit team is derived from several soccer teams that changed names and owners many times during the Soviet era after the 1917 Revolution. Powerful political forces manipulated players' careers individual as well as the fate of the entire team. The club was renamed several times, and its owners and leaders. They were under political pressure for many decades.

The origins of Zenit date back to the early twentieth century, to several predecessor teams in St. Petersburg who were playing
locally. The oldest documented predecessor of Zenit was the Murzinka team, founded in 1914, which played in the same stadium Obukhovsky from 1914 to 1924, when the team became the Bolshevik (the new name for the Obukhovsky industry and its stadium). The team and the stadium survived the drama of World War I, the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and the war Russian civilian from 1918-1922.

On May 25, 1925, another Zenit predecessor team was formed, that of the workers of the Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod (Leningrad metal plant), whose team was called Stalinets (literally "Stalinists", but could also derive from stal, which means "steel.") Historians document that both Zenit predecessor teams were playing so independent until its official merger at the end of 1939. The Stalinets was not the same team called Zenit that participated in the 1938 soviet league championship.

However, the founding date of Zenit has been the subject of debate during the history of the club and has required meetings of historians who have presented their different theories. In June 1999, the then president of Zenit, Vitali Mutkó, promoted
the creation of a commission formed by Leningrad soccer veterans, club representatives and Russian historians. He historian Yuri Lukosyak had already given up the succession version of Zenit in the Murzinka and offered five options for the Club's founding discussion: 1914, 1931, 1936, 1938 and 1939.4 However, on May 31, 2000, the commission decided that the The date of the foundation of Zenit was on May 25, 1925.5 decision that was not supported by Lukosyak.

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Soviet period (1925-1991), football club St. Petersburg Zenit

The Stalinets began in group "B", the second division, of the 1936 Soviet national championship, with steel blue uniform and White. The first match was played on May 27, 1936 against Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk in Dnipropetrovsk and the match ended with tie a goal. Alexey Larionov scored the historic goal. In 1938, after a restructuring of the Soviet First Division that happened to have 24 teams, the Stalinets achieved the ascent to the maximum competition. The debut of Stalinets in the first division is held on May 12, 1938 against the Stakhanovets - current Shakhtar - in Donetsk. The Leningdadeans were losing by two goals to zero, tied thanks to a double by Boris Sorokin. The team finished in 14th position at the end of the season. The current name of FC Zenit was registered in 1936, as the Bolshevik became part of the Zenit sports society and was renamed Zenit three years before the Stalinets merged into it. In 1939, as a result of the massive reorganization of management in the Leningradsky Metallichesky Zavod during the government of Iósif Stalin, the plant became part of the military industry and its sports teams, players and managers were transferred to the sports society Zenit.

The FC Zenit was ordered to take as members of the team those of the Stalinets metalworkers after the end of the 1939 season and the two teams merged into the current Zenit. With the onset of World War II, football in the Soviet Union, as in all of Europe, became paralyzed and Zenit it was acquired during the war by the State Mechanical Optical Plant (later called LOMO) .6 Some of the players and part of the Zenit coaching staff were evacuated to Kazan, but many remained, fought and died at the site of Leningrad. Zenit won its first official title in 1944, the Soviet Union Cup, in the first edition held after the conflict. Zenit defeated CSKA in the final by two goals to one, in a match held at Dinamo Stadium in Moscow and that raised great expectation, after the Leningrades eliminated Dynamo and Spartak from Moscow, two of the big clubs.

Football Premier League Title favorites

In the 1950s old unresolved St.Petersburg football club problems remained, such as the lack of own sports facilities, serious financial and organizational difficulties that led to reaping very poor sports results. In less than seven years in Zenit five coaches were replaced. In 1958, Georgy Ivanovich Zharkov, from Moscow, became the first coach outside Leningrad to take over the first team.6 That season the Zenit finished fourth place, the best result to date and that would not be able to overcome until third place in 1980, which proves the discreet role of the club for much of the history of Soviet professional football.

One of the worst moments of Zenit's sports career occurred in 1967, when the team finished last in the championship League However he was saved from the descent due to the Soviet authorities, who decided that it would not be prudent for him Soviet sport descend to the only Leningrad team that competed in the first division during the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution, which occurred in the city.

The 1980s was the golden age of Zenit, led by coach Yúri Morózov, who arrived in 1977. Morózov implanted a new system based on a new generation of young local players, 8 that eventually led the team to finish in third position in the 1980 league, the first time in the history of the club in which they achieved the final podium. Many of the young people later formed the backbone of the new and successful decade, such as strikers Yuri Zheludkov and Yuri Gerasimov, the Midfielders Valery Broshin and Alexander Zakharik, defenders Alexei Stepanov and Vladimir Dolgopolov. Third place it allowed Zenit to play for the first time in its history European competition when qualifying for the 1981-82 UEFA Cup.

He Soviet team faced Dynamo Dresden of East Germany in a final thirty-second round, experienced team international that clearly surpassed the Soviet by a global 2-6. After third place, Zenit alternated discrete seasons with acceptable seasons, but in 1984 the team surpassed all expectations to be proclaimed champion of the Soviet league and runner-up of cup. Zenit, directed by Pável Sadyrin, reached the last day leading a tight leaderboard followed by Spartak Moscow, but on November 21, 1984 they beat the Metalist Kharkiv in the last game of the season 4–1 and secured their first league title. 8 Mikhail Biryukov, Nikolay Larionov (team captain), Vladimir Klementyev and Sergey Dmitriev formed the basis of the success of Zenit and were summoned by the Soviet national soccer team for the first time.8 Yuri Zheludkov, with 17 goals, was the team's top scorer, a only two goals from Sergey Andreyev (SKA Rostov-on-Don), the top scorer in the league. In the Soviet Cup, Zenit fell in the final against Dynamo Moscow for two goals to zero.

As a Soviet league champion, Zenit debuted in the European Cup, where he was also unlucky as in his previous experience in the UEFA Cup. The Russian team eliminated Norwegian Valerenga IF in the first round by a clear 4–0 overall, but in the second round. Round was eliminated by the modest Finnish Kuusysi. In Leningrad the Zenit had to overcome the initial goal of the Nordic team with two penalty goals from Yuri Zheludkov, one of them in the game's added time. In the second leg, Zenit lost 3–1 in extra time.

The last years before the collapse of the Soviet Union were disparate for Zenit. In 1985 and 1986 the team reached Soviet Cup semifinals and finished sixth and fourth, respectively, in the national league championship. Further, On March 1, 1986, the striker Oleg Salenko debuted with Zenit, which set a new record in Soviet football when he played a First Division match at the age of 16 years and 126 days. The previous record, of 16 years and 254 days, was established in 1954 by the historical Eduard Streltsov, of the Torpedo. Five minutes after entering the field, Salenko scored a goal, becoming the youngest scorer. However, in 1989 Zenit consumed its descent to second division after a poor season in which the Leningrad team only won five games.

Representing Soviet football as fourth ranked in 1986, Zenit played the 1989-90 UEFA Cup while in second place division. In the first round he eliminated the Danish Nastved BK, but in the second round he was hit by VfB Stuttgart with a 0–6 in the global.

Zenit ended the days of the Soviet Union in the second division, from which it could not leave signing two disappointing 18th consecutive positions before the Soviet dissolution in 1991.


Zenit St. Petersburg in the Russian Premier League (1992 - present)

Zenit officially stopped being funded by LOMO on August 6, 1990 and the club was established as a company independent by decree of the Executive Committee of the Leningrad Soviet. Vladislav Gusev, a famous sports journalist, was elected the first president of the team.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union came a new stage for Russia, again as a free state, and with it the restructuring of the football league system. The Soviet Top League was eliminated and the First Russian League was created, so they had to be promoted some Russian teams of the former Soviet second division to form a Russian league. Among those teams there was the Zenit - now Zenit St. Petersburg after the name of St. Petersburg was restored - which was promoted in a way automatic However, the team continued in the same poor trajectory of recent years, together with serious problems financial, and descended again, this time to the second Russian division.

It was not until 1995 when the club was able to achieve promotion to the Russian Premier League by finishing in third position, with the help of coach Pável Sadyrin, 9 who became champion of the club in 1984. Zenit spent several seasons in the middle of the table until his first post-Soviet title came, the Russian Cup of 1999, in which they beat Dynamo Moscow by three goals to one in Luzhniki Stadium.

Al Zenit returned another illustrious coach of the Soviet era, Yúri Morózov, 10 who won a bronze medal in the Soviet championship of 1980, repeated third place in the Russian league 2001, four points behind the champion, Spartak and went 2002 Russian Cup finalist who lost to CSKA by two goals to zero. In that team there were already young players who then they would be part of the great Zenit that dazzled in Europe, such as Vyacheslav Malafeev, Andrei Arshavin and Aleksandr Kerzhakov, last two were included in the ideal team of the tournament.

Morózov was replaced by Czech Vlastimil Petržela, who made runner-up of league to Zenit in 2003.10 to three points of the CSKA. The team reached for the first time the group stage of the UEFA Cup 2004-05, but could not qualify for thirty-second finals. The following season of the UEFA Cup was eliminated by the Sevilla, champion months later, in the quarterfinals.

Gazprom's investment. Beginning of national and international success

Zenit players celebrating the 2007 league. In December 2005, the state gas company Gazprom, which already owned around 25% of the club's shares, became the majority shareholder of Zenit after paying between 30 and 40 million dollars to St. Petersburg Bank. Although Zenit reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup in 2006, a mediocre start in the league season domestic led to the dismissal of technician Vlastimil Petržela. In July 2006, Dick Advocaat assumed the position of coach of Zenit. Advocaat worked together with his deputy director, former Netherlands youth coach Cor Pot. Zenit won the League.

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Russian Premier 2007, his biggest milestone since the Soviet championship conquered in 1984.


Andréi Arshavin, petersburgués and Zenit player between 1999 and 2009, and 2012 to 2015. In 2008, Zenit won the Russian Super Cup and reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup. In the first leg of the quarterfinals against Bayer Leverkusen, the team achieved a solid 1–4 victory at BayArena and lost 0–1 in the game back at Petrovsky, which meant they were advancing to a European semifinal for the first time in history. He rival was Bayern Munich, against which he won a tie (1–1) at the Allianz Arena in Munich. In the second leg in the Petrovsky Stadium, Zenit thrashed Bayern 4–0 with a double from Pavel Pogrebnyak, the scorer of the tournament, who nevertheless lose the final card accumulation.

The historic final measured Zenit with the Scottish Rangers at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 14, 2008. Zenit won 2–0, with goals from Igor Denisov in the 72nd minute and Konstantin Zyryanov in the discount time to lift the first title club international, the UEFA Cup. Andrei Arshavin was named best player of the game.14 On August 29, 2008, in Stade Louis II in Monaco, Zenit defeated Manchester United 2–1 in the 2008 European Supercup, becoming the First Russian team to win this trophy. Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the first goal and Danny scored the second. Danny was named for him best player of the match in his debut with Zenit.


Three key players of the European success of Zenit: Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Konstantin Zyryanov, Pavel Pogrebnyak


In the group stage of the 2008-09 UEFA Champions League, Zenit was grouped with Real Madrid, Juventus and BATE Borisov in group H, qualified by the media as the death group. The Russian team finished in third place behind the Juventus and Real Madrid and could not advance to the knockout stage of the competition. However, this position will He qualified for the thirty-second round of the 2008-09 UEFA Cup, where he faced VfB Stuttgart, which he eliminated after two 2–1. In the round of 16 Udinese was measured. In the first leg at Stadio Friuli, the Italian team decided on match in the last five minutes, when Fabio Quagliarella and Antonio Di Natale signed a complicated 2–0. The match of back in Petrovsky, Zenit won with a lonely goal from Anatoliy Tymoschuk, which was insufficient to qualify the team to quarterfinals.

Dick Advocaat was dismissed in August 2009 and was replaced by Anatoli Davydov on a provisional basis. The celestial team he lost two important players like Pavel Pogrebnyak, signed by VfB Stuttgart, and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk signed by FC Bayern Munich, sold both during the 2009 season in which Zenit finished third with Anatoli Davydov as coach.

In December 2009 Luciano Spalletti signed a new contract with Zenit to take over the club for the season 2010 Zenit won the Russian Cup on May 16, 2010, beating Sibir Novosibirsk in the final, having defeated the Volga Tver in the quarterfinals and Amkar Perm in the semifinal. After 16 matches in the 2010 Russian Premier League, with 12 victories and four draws with Spalletti on the benches, Zenit had obtained 40 points, which meant a new record of the Russian Premier League in terms of points won at that stage of the campaign. In the 2010 summer transfer market, Spalletti signed Aleksandr Bukharov and Sergei Semak of Rubin Kazan, Aleksandar Luković of Udinese and Bruno Alves of FC Porto. He November 14, Zenit won FC Rostov and two days before the end of the 2010 season, Zenit won the championship of league - the first with Spalletti in command - followed by a second consecutive league championship in the 2011–12 Premier League, the third in the club winners.

In the 2014-15 Champions League, Zenit was third in its group behind AS Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen. He played later in UEFA Europa League, where he was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Sevilla FC, later champion of the cup. Zenit achieved the fifth Russian league title in the 2014/15 season after drawing against Ufa, being decisive for the achievement of the title the goals of Hulk and Salomón Rondón.

Stadium of football club St. Petersburg Zenit

The Krestovsky Stadium, owned by Zenit. Zenit plays its matches at its Krestovsky stadium, opened in 2017 and with a capacity for 70,000 spectators. He Stadium is the most expensive ever built and it took more than ten years for its construction.17 The stadium hosted several matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, including a semifinal and the match for third place, as well as the Cup final FIFA Confederations 2017. was The venue occupies the place where the former Kírov stadium was located, which was home to Zenit from 1950 to 1992.

However, these were not the only homes of Zenit. The club played between 1994 and 2017 at Petrovsky Stadium, a stadium multipurpose but mainly dedicated to the practice of football located in the Petrogradsky district. The stadium has capacity for 21,383 spectators and was built in 1924. Since the club went to the Krestovsky stadium, the subsidiary, the Zenit-2, occupies the
Petrovsky as a local.

Rivalries of St. Petersburg Zenit: Rivalry between the Zenit St. Petersburg and the Spartak Moscow and Rivalry between the Zenit St. Petersburg and the CSKA Moscow.

The historical rivals of Zenit are the Moscow teams, mainly the Spartak, the CSKA Moscow and the Dynamo, due to the traditional rivalry between the two cities. In fact, clashes between these teams are known in the media Russian communication as the «Derby of the two capitals». Zenit fans also have tense relationships with Baltika Kaliningrad and Amkar Perm. 18 For its part, the Zenit fans have a good friendship with FC Chelyabinsk (formerly known as Zenit Chelyabinsk), Krylia Sovetov Samara and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Foreign teams have developed a relationship special with the German club Schalke 04.20 team sponsored by Gazprom.

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Club Data: St. Petersburg Zenit

Seasons in 1st: 15 (1992; 1996 - Present).
Seasons in 2nd: 3 (1993 - 1995).
Biggest win achieved: In national championships: 8-1 vs FC Luch-Energiya Vladivostok in the 2008 season.
8-1 vs FC Torpedo Moscow in the 2014-15 season.

In international tournaments: 8-0 vs Futbol Club Encamp in the 2002-03 UEFA Cup.

Biggest goal conceded: In national championships: 7-1 vs FC Dinamo Moscow in the 2003 season.

In international tournaments: 5-0 vs Club Brujas in the 1987-88 UEFA Cup.

Best place in the league: 1st (2007, 2010, 2011/12).
Worst place in the league: 16th (1992).
Top scorer: Aleksandr Kerzhakov (106).
More matches played: Lev Burchalkin (400)

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General data about St. Petersburg Zenit

Full name: Futbolny Klub Zenit

Nickname: Sine-belo-golubyye (blue-white-light blue), Zenitchiki (anti-aircraft gunners)

Foundation: May 25, 1925

Owner: Gazprom Russia

President: Flag of Russia Sergey Fursenko

Coach: Sergey Semak

Stadium: Krestovsky

Capacity: 70,0001 spectators

Location: St. Petersburg, Russia

Opening: April 22, 2017

League: Russian Premier League

Champion Titles: 5 (for the last time in 2018-19)

Cup: Cup of Russia: Titles: 4 (for the last time in 2015-16)

Another cup: Russian Super Cup : Titles: 5 (for the last time in 2016)


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