Sergey Semak: “I can`t imagine myself in Spartak”

“Hey, Semak, score a goal!” CSKA`s fans shouted this chant for more than five years after they lost their idol, and stopped doing so only when Sergey moved to Zenit.

— You played ten years in a row for CSKA, but then you started moving around from club to club. Is it easy for you to get used to new cities?

— I don`t have any trouble. It`s always comfortable living in each new city. Petersburg, for example, has everything I need to be able to train properly and do my job. Of course, a person gets used to having one place to live. But I personally get involved the rhythm of a new city very fast. Again, I have a large family. So I spend a lot of time with my family.

— Was it hard for your family to make this move? Your children go to school, and to kindergarten…

— We`ve already found an excellent school for my younger daughter. The same thing goes with the kindergarten. We`ve already decided on everything. Of course we need time to resolve some questions of everyday life. A lot of those things built up over my years in Kazan. It`s not easy to move.

— How has Petersburg struck you?

— I constantly admire the architecture and beauty of the city. A large river, many islands, bridges – all of that is impressive. And St. Petersburg is quite a green city too. We live on Krestovsky Island now. The island has excellent parks for taking walks. We spend almost all of our free time there.

— Where did you feel most like a star – in Moscow, Kazan, or Petersburg?

— Definitely not in Moscow. It`s a huge city where you can walk around and do your business. Everything`s different in Petersburg. People have a different relationship to football here. The majority of people in the city are interested in football. The press pays a lot of attention to the team and its players here. The footballers are like under a microscope here.

— The CSKA fans stopped shouting “Hey, Semak, score a goal!” after you moved to Zenit! Are you disappointed?

— No. When I moved to Paris in 2004 I thought the CSKA fans would forget me really fast. I was really surprised that it didn`t happen that way. Thank you to the CSKA fans for their warmth and attention. And if they don`t shout about me any more… That`s their choice and their right. I can`t say anything but thank you to people who did so much for me.

— The only team that you can`t imagine yourself playing for, – is probably Spartak?

— Naturally. I can`t imagine playing for Spartak considering my past in CSKA.

— Should a club like Zenit set itself the goal of winning the Europa League?

— Why do you say that? I don`t think that Zenit`s players are stronger than in, for example, CSKA, Rubin, or Lokomotiv. They spend about the same amount of money for choosing players. Some years they spend more, some years they spend less. Zenit doesn`t have any stars on a European level. The team has either Russian national team players or foreign players who are called up to their national teams, but aren`t the team leaders. So I wouldn`t say that Zenit is a top club by European standards. It`s just a solid Russian team which strives to win and does so thanks to good teamwork among the whole squad.