Medvedev welcomes his favourite team to Kremlin
President Medvedev has met St Petersburg's Zenit Football Club in Moscow’s Kremlin on Friday to congratulate them on winning the UEFA Cup. They beat Glasgow Rangers 2-0 in the final to claim the first major European trophy in the club's history, and only
“You did a great job. I’m happy and honoured to meet and congratulate you on this superb victory. Hopefully, it will prove to be a turning point in Russian football,” said Medvedev.
Meanwhile, thousands of football fans across Russia are still celebrating the victory.
The governor of St Petersburg Valentina Matvienko, who travelled to Manchester to watch the game, said she is still full of emotion.
“It seems to me that the entire country supported our team as one family. This is a tremendous victory. Now Zenit are not just the champions of Russia, they're the best football club in Europe. The whole of Russia and St Petersburg are proud. This feeling will stay with us for a long time,” Matvienko told reporters.
Ten thousand Russian fans travelled to Manchester to watch the game while millions more back in Russia were glued to their TV sets. Anatoly Timoshchuk, Zenit’s captain, thanked the fans for their support.
“All our team are grateful to our fans. They created such an atmosphere at the stadium,” he said.
The prestigious cup will remain in St. Petersburg for a year, where it will be put on public display. Then the trophy will be handed back to the UEFA administration, but the team will retain a replica, which is about four fifths the size of the original.