Introducing our next opponent: Young Boys

After narrowly missing Young Boys in the Champions League qualification round this past summer, Zenit will now take on the Swiss club in the Europa League Round of 32.

Young Boys (Bern, Switzerland)

Established in 1898.

Sergey Dmitriev: “You can`t relax against Young Boys”

Sergey Dmtriev, USSR champion as a Zenit player (1984) and in CSKA Moscow (1991) managed to play not only in Spain, Austria, Germany and Israel in his long career, but also in Switzerland, where he played for Saint-Gallen in 1992/1993, scoring 9 goals in 14 appearances.

– What was Swiss football like when you were a player there?
– At that time Swiss football wasn`t on the same level as it is now. At the same time the teams played very technical football, more like in the Spanish league. Of course there were no super clubs with stars in them, but all of our competitors were on about the same level, so the tournament was very interesting. In a word, if Zenit gets Young Boys, then Zenit can`t relax.

– But this team was never considered one of the leaders of the Swiss league.
– Grasshoppers and Basel were always considered to be the best teams in the Swiss league. Young Boys was a strong middle-tier team and I didn`t have any special impression of the team. But if they made it to the Champions League, then they`re playing very well.

– What`s the level of football in the Alps at present?
– Of course the Swiss league is still not on the level of Europe`s top leagues. Footballers from the best Swiss clubs leave for stronger clubs abroad. Overall the Swiss league is at a lower level than the Russian Premier League presently. Just think of the Ghanaian player Seydou Dumbia, who moved from Young Boys to CSKA. But if the Swiss national team made it to the World Cup in South Africa, and even beat Spain, that means a lot. There are no weak teams in the world now. The teams that prepare best are the ones that win. Just look at Zenit`s loss to Nacional in the UEFA Cup two years ago. Nobody was expecting that. So it`s not going to be a walk in the park.