Alexander Kerzhakov talks from the heart

Over the last year Alexander Kerzhakov has showed real sporting character, became a student with a major in "state management,” prepared to establish a football school in the name of his first coach, and doesn`t want to leave Russia.

How has Zenit changed over recent years ideologically?
Zenit has the winner`s attitude now. Zenit is becoming a more confident team, and it`s not a miracle for this team to come in first place any more.

And how have you changed?
I didn't let up even for a minute all season. Not because I returned to Zenit and understood that a lot was expected from me here. It was just my attitude that I can`t let up at practice, or in the match, not even for a minute or a second. I don`t know why, but if I did something, if I played or practiced, then I always gave maximum effort this year. Maybe I wasn`t like that before. Sometimes in the past at practice I could let up and not run for the ball. My physical state seems to be optimal this year too. Thank you to the doctors and masseuses. They probably taught me how to recover well after matches.

What do you think is important in the career of a footballer?
I played football for ten years and was never a champion before now. You know, there are some footballers who are famous, who everybody talks about, but they never win a championship through their whole career. And winning a championship is a mark of quality for any sportsman that can`t be taken away from you.

There have been rumors that Liverpool was interested in you. Are you planning to leave Russia?
I feel entirely comfortable working in Zenit now. The only thing I want is for those people who make life so comfortable for me in Zenit to stay here. As for the future, I`m interested in questions of children`s education. The more we invest in children`s development, the better the future will be. I really want to open a football school in honor of Yury Morozov, my first professional coach. We`re going to start construction soon. I personally want to work on ideology and development of the school, and ideally I would transform it into a chain of 10 or 20 schools.

Do you have a group of people who are helping you?
Of course. I`ve got architects who designed the building for me. Furthermore, I recently went to university to study “State Management”. And the university has helped me out, allowing me to read lectures on interaction between finances and sports. I`ve got a lot to say about that. Of course it`s all going to take a lot of time, but I think I have plenty of time. The important thing is to manage your time wisely. Then you`ll get pleasure from it.

What else interests you besides sports?
I`ve got a daughter. She`s a good girl, smart. Thanks to her I learned about responsibility: that`s what happens when you understand that there is a person who is half created from you. She`s yours. No matter what happens me, no matter how upset I am, how sad I feel, I still always try to get that out of my mind when I come home, and to give my daughter my warmest emotions.