Fernando Meira: “We`re the champions!”

Zenit`s fullback, who picked up two yellow cards in Zenit`s last match of the Russian season, spoke about his team`s results this year and judged today`s tie to a be a gift to Krylya Sovetov.

– Even though today`s match ended in a tie, it was extremely important to us as a club: we officially completed our championship today.

– It was really cold out today…
– Ya, and it was hard to play out there. We`ll remember this match for a long time. I think it`s not right to play in weather like this.

– Now Krylya Sovetov will stay in the Premier League!
– Ya, that`s a good result for them. The club had big problems, but they managed to rebuild their team at the beginning of the year. We`ll consider this tie to be a bonus for them after such a tough season.

– Can you say a few words about the upcoming match with Anderlecht…
– That`s the kind of game where we need to find special motivation from within. But we`ll find it, we`re the champions! For example, I missed two practices because I was sick, but today I went to the team doctor and said that I want to play as much as possible. The match with Anderlecht will be tough, they`ve got their own chances. We`re going to play at home, and we`ll try to win for our fans, despite the cold. It`s going to be -20, right? I think it will be really hard for the fans to follow the match.

– What`s the difference between Zenit-2009 and Zenit-2010?
– The main difference in this year`s team is that we played very consistently for the whole season. We didn`t lose as many points as some people thought we would. We showed attractive football in 80–90 percent of all our matches, with lots of goals. Of course having a good team is the result of the coach`s work. He brought us a new way of understanding football, a new style of play. Spalletti proved that Italian football is not only about defending. I think we scored about 60 goals this season. That shows the quality of our team and the quality of the work we did.