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Zenit has changed a lot since the last Cup victory. Where are the players of that team now?

Date: July 18, 2024 Time: 05:30:56

Zenit will play in the Russian Cup final for the first time since 2020. Sergei Semak’s team is close to the “golden” treble after winning the RPL and the Super Cup. In the decisive match, the St. Petersburg team will play against Baltika in Luzhniki.

And in 2020, Zenit faced Khimki in Yekaterinburg and won a minimal victory. Since then, the composition of the inhabitants of St. Petersburg has changed greatly. Now Zenit only has six 2020 Cup champions left: goalkeepers Mikhail Kerzhakov and Alexander Vasyutin, defenders Douglas Santos and Vyacheslav Karavaev, and midfielders Vilmar Barrios and Alexander Erokhin. Well, and coach Sergei Semak, of course. What was the fate of the former Zenit footballers?

Branislav Ivanovic, 40 years old, defender

Then now

The Russian Cup final against Khimki is Ivanovich’s last game for Zenit. The Serbian left the club as a free agent. And in September 2020 he returned to the Premier League and signed a contract with West Bromwich. Branislav spent a season in England, after which he retired. He now actively participates in events under the auspices of UEFA.

Yaroslav Rakitsky, 34 years old, defender

Then now

After winning the Cup, Rakitsky won two more gold medals in the RPL and a Super Cup with Zenit. True, he did not finish the 2021/2022 season, leaving the club in February 2022. In the summer, Yaroslav ended up at Turkish side Adana Demirspor, but left the team in December. Since 2023, the defender has been playing for his native Shakhtar.

Magomed Ozdoev, 31 years old, midfielder

Then now

Ozdoev spent four excellent years at Zenit and left the team in 2022. Magomed spent the 2022/2023 season at Turkish side Fatih Karagumruk and in 2023 he moved to Greek side PAOK. At the end of the last championship, the Club took gold. Magomed is one of the important players of the black and white team. PAOK will play together with Ozdoev in the Champions League qualification – 2024/2025.

Christmas talk:

Exclusive

“I miss my homeland.” First interview with Ozdoev after the championship in Greece

Daler Kuzyaev, 31 years old, midfielder

Then now

Kuzyaev graduated from Zenit, one of the symbols of the team in the late 2010s and early 2020s. Daler won five RPL titles with the club and left for Europe. Now the midfielder plays for French club Le Havre. At the end of the 2023/2024 season, the team remained in League 1. And Daler became one of the leaders of the Dark Blues.

Artyom Dzyuba, 35 years old, forward

Then now

Dzyuba at Zenit became the top scorer in the history of the Russian championship and a four-time gold medal winner. A man of the time for the club, no matter how much the fans treated him. In the summer of 2022, Artyom left Saint Petersburg and in August signed a contract with Adana Demirspor. But the striker did not have success abroad and he returned to the RPL. In the winter of 2023, Lokomotiv signed a contract with the striker. The second half of the season was successful for Artyom, but the 2023/2024 championship was ruined. Because of this, Loko did not renew the contract with Dzyuba. Now the 35-year-old forward is a free agent.

Where will Artyom end up next season?

Exclusive

Lokomotiv rejects Dziuba and three other Russians. Because?

Serdar Azmun, 29 years old, forward

Then now

Azmoun left Zenit in January 2022 and moved to Bayer Leverkusen. But if in the RPL Serdar was destroyed, in Germany he failed to become the leader of Leverkusen. In a year and a half in Leverkusen, Azmun scored only five goals and spent the 2023/2024 season on loan at Roma. It turned out to be a shame: Bayer won the Bundesliga for the first time in history + won the German Cup. And Roma was left without trophies. Perhaps we will see the Iranian in the 2024/2025 Champions League in the form of a German club, since the footballer still belongs to them.

Malcolm, 27 years old, forward

Then now

Top scorer and player of the RPL 2022/2023. Malcolm destroyed the Russian championship and went to work in Saudi Arabia. Now the Brazilian with a Russian passport plays for Al-Hilal. Malcolm won the Saudi Arabian Championship and the King’s Cup with the club. Al-Hilal beat Al-Nasr with Cristiano Ronaldo in both tournaments.

Daniil Odoevsky, 21 years old, goalkeeper

Then now

The goalkeeper played 11 games for Zenit in three years, without becoming the main player. Daniil spent the 2023/2024 season on loan at Volgar. Odoevsky became number one in Astrakhan, but the club was relegated from the First League. The goalkeeper returns to St. Petersburg: can he compete for a starting position?

Igor Smolnikov, 35 years old, defender

Then now

Smolnikov left Zenit at the end of the 2019/2020 season. Then performances for Krasnodar, Arsenal, Torpedo and Lokomotiv. And in 2023, Igor put an end to his career after ending his contract with the red and green team. After this, the defender began studying to be a coach. For example, in February 2024, he attended a Torpedo training session as a student at the RFU Academy.

Emanuel Mammana, 28 years old, defense

Then now

Mammana started well at Zenit, but after a knee injury he never became a starter. In 2020, the Argentine was loaned from Sochi and a year later he left Saint Petersburg. Emanuel then played for River Plate and in early 2024 he signed a contract with Vélez Sarsfield.

Yordan Osorio, 30 years old, defender

Then now

Osorio spent the 2019/2020 season at Zenit on loan from Porto. But in Russia, the Venezuelan became only a rotation player, after which he returned safely to Portugal. However, Jordan was immediately sold to Italian club Parma, for which he still plays.

Yuri Zhirkov, 40 years old, defender

Then now

One of the best Russian footballers of the 21st century left Zenit only in 2021. With the Saint Petersburg team he won three RPL, two Cups and two Russian Super Cups. In 2022, Zhirkov played several matches for Khimki and ended his career. Now the former Russian national team player is shining in the Media League. He plays for FC Bus, founded by brothers Soslan and Alan Gatagov.

Oleg Shatov, 33 years old, midfielder

Then now

The 2019/2020 season is Shatov’s last in St. Petersburg. In the Cup final, Oleg entered the field in the 88th minute instead of Malcolm. And then he went to Rubin (2020-2021). The last club in Shatov’s career was, in fact, his native Ural (2022-2023). And in 2024, the former footballer completed an internship at the Club, already as a coach. Urals president Grigory Ivanov did not rule out that Shatov would one day end up at the team headquarters.

Do we believe?

“He will be a good coach.” New role for the former star of “Zenit” and “Ural”

Alexey Sutormin, 30 years old, midfielder

Then now

A footballer who ended up at Zenit for 50 thousand rubles. Sutormin did not become a major starting player, but he helped as a rotation player. In the winter of 2024, Alexey went to Sochi to practice. But before the start of the new season, Alexey will return to Zenit. It is not yet known if the midfielder will continue at the club or if they will find another option for him to continue his career.

Leon Musaev, 25 years old, midfielder

Then now

A Zenit graduate, who was not given any opportunity at his home club. In 2021, Musaev replaced Saint Petersburg with Kazan. But he did not even manage to establish himself in the starting position at Rubin León. At the beginning of 2024, León was loaned to Kuban for six months. In the summer he returns to Rubin. There is a chance to gain the trust of coach Rashid Rakhimov in the preseason.

Emiliano Rigoni, 31 years old, midfielder

Then now

Rigoni failed to establish himself at Zenit, although he periodically gave brilliant matches. From Saint Petersburg he was loaned twice: to Atalanta and Sampdoria. And in 2020, Emiliano was sold to Elche. Then – the Brazilian “Sao Paulo” and the American “Austin”. At the MLS club, the Argentine became an important rotation player.

Sebastian Driussi, 28 years old, forward

Then now

Another representative from Austin. Driussi left Zenit for the MLS club in 2021. In St. Petersburg, the Argentine won three RPL golds, one Cup and two Super Cups. There are no MLS titles yet, but Driussi is Austin’s main center forward. That’s why he left Zenit: Sebastián dreamed of playing in the center of the attack and they sent him to the flank.

After the Cup final, Zenit must opt ​​for a restructuring. For any result:

Zenit is champion, but cannot avoid perestroika

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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