Sergey Bogdanovich Semak was born on 27 February 1976 near Voroshilovgrad (now Lugansk), in Ukraine. He began playing football at the Luhansk football school and at the age of 16 made his debut for Presnya Moscow, before quickly going to Karelia Petrozavodsk and then returning to Presnya Moscow, which had changed its name to Asmaral Moscow in 1993. He was then picked up by CSKA Moscow and a month after his debut he scored his first goal. Less than a year after that, aged 19, he became CSKA’s youngest captain and the youngest in the history of Russian football.
In 2005, Semak left CSKA and moved to France to join Paris St. Germain. In the same year he was awarded the national title of Honored Master of Sports. After France he moved to FC Moscow and then to Rubin Kazan, where he helped the side win the club’s first ever championship title.
In 2008 he was back in the Russian national team after a brief absence and captained the side that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008. For Russia he won 65 caps in total, scoring 4 goals.
Sergey joined Zenit in August 2010 and played for the team until June 2013. In those three seasons, he played 72 matches, scored 13 goals and made 7 assists.
At the end of his playing career in June 2013 he accepted the offer from Luciano Spalletti to join the Zenit coaching staff. In March 2014 he was appointed caretaker manager of Zenit and oversaw two matches, a 1-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow and a 2-1 away win over Borussia Dortmund.
In March 2014 Semak joined the coaching staff of Andre Villas-Boas and in September 2015, led the team for six matches in the Russian league because of the Portuguese manager’s touchline ban. After the departure of Villas-Boas, Semak continued his work at the club as part of Mircea Lucescu’s coaching staff.
In August 2014 Sergey accepted a position with the Russian national team coaching staff and worked with both Fabio Capello and Leonid Slutsky.
On 30 December 2016 he was appointed to the post of Ufa manager and lead the club to sixth place in the league and qualification for the UEFA Europa League, the best season in the club’s history.
On 29 May 2018 Sergei Semak joined us at Zenit and in his first season in charge led the team to the RPL league title. He went on to win the league again in his second season, along with the Russian Cup and Russian Super Cup. Meaning his Zenit side won every available traophy in 2020.
Wishing you a happy birthday Mr Semak!