The club from St. Petersburg is in hibernation for the second winter and works only “on the way out”. And once “Zenith” strengthened the composition twice a year.
The transfer window in the RPL is open until February 25, but the clubs are in no hurry to spend a lot of money on newcomers and prefer to renew their roster the old way – in the summer. Blue-white-blue for the last two winter windows have not signed a single player. Only Rigoni returned from lease in February 2020. The club from St. Petersburg is in hibernation for the second winter and works only “on the way out”. And once “Zenith” strengthened the composition twice a year.
In the meantime, “Zenith” is in search of newcomers, we present to you the ten most expensive acquisitions of St.
10. Fernando Meira, season 2008/09, 6 million euros
In March 2009, the Portuguese defender moved to Zenit from Galatasaray. Meira was a major player both in the Turkish grandee and in the national team, with which he finished fourth at the European Championship. Fernando started in the first match, and he looked very confident in the game against Spartak. The defender stayed in the northern capital for 2.5 years, took part in 53 matches and even scored a goal. Meira won all three Russian trophies with the team: championship, cup and super cup. However, due to injuries, Fernando stopped joining the squad and in the summer of 2011 the parties terminated the contract, and the Portuguese moved to Zaragoza
. “I will never forget the time spent in Russia!” – said goodbye Meira.
9.Luis Neto, 2012/13 season, 6.5 million
Zenit drew attention to the Portuguese when he defended the colors of the modest Siena. No, they were also interested in Juventus and Napoli, but the offer from St. Petersburg turned out to be more attractive. On February 1, 2013, Luis signed a contract. The defender stayed in Russia for a total of six years (not counting the year on loan at Fenerbahce) and became one of the key players in the blue-white-blue. The Portuguese has won a total of five trophies: twice became the champion, took the cup and two super cups. In July 2019, Luis moved to Sporting as a free agent.
“Thanks everyone! It was an incredible time. Thanks to the fans! Thanks to the club! St. Petersburg is my home, and Zenit is my family! “Zenit is a champion!” – said Neto in his farewell speech.
Recently, the Greens won the League Cup, and Neto lacked a medal due to the organizers’ miscalculation.
8.Alexander Kerzhakov, season 2009/10, 6.5 million
After playing for Sevilla and Dynamo Moscow, Kerzhakov returned to Zenit and signed a four-year contract. The “Second Coming” turned out to be successful – in the very first season after his return, Alexander made a “golden double” with the team and was recognized as the best Russian player in the RFPL. In total, as part of the St. Petersburg team, the forward won six trophies, simultaneously becoming the main scorer in the history of Russian football and breaking the record of Oleg Veretennikov. With the arrival of André Villas-Boash, Kerzhakov lost his status as the club’s main star, was exiled to Zenit-2 and eventually went on loan to Zurich. Upon his return from Switzerland in the summer of 2017, Alexander ended his career.
Photo: Elena Razina, “Championship”
7. Alejandro Dominguez, season 2006/07, 7 million
The Argentine forward made a stir in Russian football, but his best years were still spent at Rubin. For the Kazan club, Alejandro scored a total of 43 goals in 107 matches. Zenit acquired Dominguez on January 1, 2007. The transfer amount was 7 million euros, which became a record for the transition within the Russian championship at that time. But in St. Petersburg, the forward scored only 10 goals in 63 games. Nevertheless, Alejandro won four trophies with Zenit, including the UEFA Cup and Super Cup. Two years after the transition, Dominguez returned to Rubin for 4 million euros.
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6.Hernani Acevedou Junior, 2016/17 season, 8 million
The Brazilian defensive midfielder has been with Zenit for three years, but is remembered more for leases. Ernani moved to St. Petersburg from Atletico Paranaense in January 2017. But in August of the same year, Junior was rented out to Saint-Etienne. Returning, the Brazilian still played one full season, became the champion of Russia and again went on loan. This time to Parma, which eventually bought the player out for 4.5 million euros. Ernani played 37 matches for the St. Petersburg club.
5. Yaroslav Rakitskiy, season-2018/19, 10 million
The Ukrainian defender was one of the leaders of Shakhtar, for which he played over 300 matches. However, in January 2019, Yaroslav, unexpectedly for many, moved to Zenit and signed a 3.5-year contract. Rakitskiy’s transfer caused a mixed reaction from both Ukrainian and Russian fans. But the footballer himself acted wisely – he devoted himself completely to football and in a short time justified the funds invested in it. Yaroslav formed with Ivanovich (and then Lovren) the best pair of central defenders in the RPL. In two years he has already won four trophies. The defender’s contract is valid until the summer of 2022, but Zenit would not hurt to think about extending the cooperation right now, despite the fact that Rakitsky will soon be 32.
Photo: Alexander Safonov, “Championship”
4. Serdar Azmun, season-2018/19, 12 million
The Iranian owes much of his career to Kurban Berdyev, under whom he first ended up in Rubin and then followed the coach to Rostov, albeit on loan. Azmun moved to Petersburg as an already formed player who had no problems with adaptation. The forward’s transfer can already be called successful. Serdar won two championship gold medals, a cup and a super cup with Zenit. In the 2019/20 season, Azmun became the top scorer of the RPL with 17 goals. In total, Serdar scored 44 goals and 18 assists in 74 matches in all tournaments – a good indicator. The striker’s contract with Zenit is valid until the summer of 2022, but the Iranian is already in the sphere of interests of several European clubs. The last time he was connected with Napoli.
“Are Napoli and Everton interested in me? I want to emphasize that I am a Zenit player, ”Serdar answered briefly and clearly last year to questions about the transfer.
3. Anatoly Tymoshchuk, season 2006/07, 14.5 million
“This transition will definitely benefit me. I am sure of this. But not only for me, but also for my club, since Zenit sets high goals for themselves, and this could not affect my decision. Plus, the championship in Russia is much stronger than the Ukrainian one. In addition, Zenit is the only team that was able to meet Shakhtar’s requirements, – Anatoly said in 2007.
Tymoshchuk’s transfer is still considered one of the best in Zenit’s history. Over the course of two years, the Ukrainian defender has become indispensable and has helped the club win four trophies, including the UEFA Cup and Super Cup. Thanks to his confident play, Anatoly moved to Bayern for 11 million. Not having received enough playing practice, but having won the Champions League, the Ukrainian returned to Zenit, where he became the champion of Russia for the second time. After completing his career, Tymoshchuk entered the coaching staff of Sergei Semak, where he still works.
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Today, such a transition is difficult to imagine.
2.Vilmar Barrios, season-2018/19, 15 million
Wilmar was one of the leading players of Boca, with whom he twice became the champion of Argentina and won the Copa Libertadores. Such results could not fail to attract the attention of Zenit. Pablo Seihas, Barrios’s agent, said that his client had to get off the Genoese bus with his belongings and prepare to be sent to Russia, since the deal was closed in a matter of hours. The club from St. Petersburg did not spare 15 million euros and offered the midfielder a salary of 2 million a year. “The end justifies the means,” they thought in the northern capital, and they paid off. Barrios quickly adapted to Russian football and already regularly shows a high level of play. The Colombian has four trophies and 72 appearances for Zenit in all tournaments. Recently, the Premier League clubs are interested in Barrios.
1.José Salomon Rondon, 2013/14 season, 18 million
Rondon is the third top player to transfer to Zenit from Rubin. Kazan once made the striker the most expensive Venezuelan player, having paid 10 million euros for him. Petersburgers posted 8 more. Jose quickly became his boyfriend at Zenit and ousted Kerzhakov himself from the base. In total, the striker scored 28 goals in 58 games, winning two trophies along the way. Who knows how the fate of Rondon could have developed in the cultural capital and how many goals he would have scored if not for the limit on legionnaires. Due to the restriction, the Venezuelan was sold for 17 million to West Bromwich Albion. It is worth noting that Rondon may soon return to the RPL, but already to CSKA, which, according to some reports, is negotiating with the football player.
Photo: Elena Razina, “Championship”
Rondon is a great transfer service with minimal risks. CSKA will become stronger with him
We will tell you in what condition the ex-Zenit striker is and how he spent the last years.