Now I can live here and I hope to help the team”: Sergei Semak’s best St.Petersburg and Zenit quotes


Some of the best quotes from Zenit’s new manager

7 August 2010. The first interview after moving to Zenit

I wanted to work with Spalletti, as well as to play and live in such a wonderful city. When coming here to play against Zenit I always wanted to stay and see St. Petersburg and its atmosphere. I’m glad that I had the opportunity. Now I can live and play here and I hope to help the team.

15 February 2011. Answering the Zenit fan’s questions

I can already understand why people love this city, for its atmosphere, how one district differs from another, why many are in love with Vasilievsky Island. I like people who, unlike Muscovites, are in no hurry. Almost everyone, if you ask him something in the street, will answer you in detail. There is no fuss here. St. Petersburg has a completely different rhythm to Moscow.

15 February 2012. After his spectacular goal against Benfica

The ball came in high. I just needed to coordinate myself and get it on target. I’m glad that everything turned out ok, but there was some luck.

11 August 2012. After the 5-0 win over Spartak Moscow

It’s nice, but for me it’s history now. It’s much more important what will happen next. So far, this win is just a drop in the ocean and we’ve still more to do.

14 August 2012. The answer to the question: “Who would he buy if he became head coach?”

Now Mr. Spalletti is the coach and he has a list of players he would like to buy. I have no doubt that this list is strong. I would not say no to Messi for sure.

January 2013. Answering a question in the Zenit magazine about life after his playing career

Being in one boat, it’s hard to think about how you will feel in another. So it’s hard for me to say anything about my future.

26 February 2013. About how he felt after the birth of his seventh child

A child is life, it is an individual. When you hear their first breath, see the expression on their face, hear his voice, it’s always amazing.

6 December 2013. About the beginning of study at the Higher School of Trainers

I think for experts and some football-obsessed fans there are no secrets anymore. But for me there are certain puzzles in the game.

22 December 2014. On the role of the assistant manager

As the assistant to the head coach, I should be like a sponge. Not everyone will see everything but I will absorb as much information as I can get from such wonderful mentors. This goes for Spalletti, Villas-Boas, and Capello. Fate itself has helped me gain experience from the masters of management.

30 May 2015. After the first championship as a coach

It’s one thing to play on the pitch, you can put all your energy into the game. The coach doesn’t have such a chance. It’s impossible to get used to winning the championship, but this is what we have been working towards.

29 December 2016. Before leaving for Ufa

Of course, Ufa are taking a risk. They have invited a manager without experience. But, I think the only way to get this experience is to start working. I am grateful for the chance they are gaving me, now everything depends on me.

Bonus – 11 July 2012. Luciano Spalletti on Sergei Semak

If I were to make a forecast for the future and I was to choose a coach for the Russian team that could give energy, new ideas, stimulate the emergence of football in this country, a person who would be very close to the heart of the country, who cares about its future, a person who has the necessary various qualities. There is such a person and he is ideal for me. I know him very well. This is Sergei Semak. Because he’s a person with a big character, a person who has never had problems in dealing with players and he has great virtues with a lot of fresh ideas. I think he is an ideal candidate. I am sure that when he finishes his career, almost all the big clubs in Russia and even some European clubs will want to see him as their manager. I’m talking about this because I want to say it in advance.