Giuliano: Zenit St Petersburg’s Ephemeral Star

Giuliano Victor de Paula’s presence came to grace St Petersburg briefly; after only one full season with Zenit, he has now been sold to Fenerbahçe in Turkey. Despite a highly successful year in Russia which saw the Brazilian’s market value increase almost twofold, he appears to have left for the same modest €7m he arrived for. Mircea Lucescu’s star player found himself not especially needed under Roberto Mancini, and the fact, not least the manner of his departure, undoubtedly leaves some fans … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Zenit St. Petersburg

When André Villas-Boas left Zenit at the end of the 2015/16 season, he was replaced by the man who had turned Shakhtar Donetsk into the dominant force of Ukrainian football, Mircea Lucescu. The Romanian even managed to win a trophy in his first official match at the club, as his side beat CSKA Moscow in the Russian Super Cup. This, however, turned out to be the only silverware Zenit would win all season, as they crashed out of the Europa League in the Round of 32, missed out on Champions League … [Read more...]

RFN Top 50 2016: 3-1

3: Giuliano, Midfielder, Zenit (NEW ENTRY) No one really knew what to expect from the Brazilian when he joined Zenit before this season. After a couple of seasons in Ukraine with Dnipro Giuliano returned to Brazil in 2014, and left the public eye. When Zenit sold Hulk, many fans hoped for the club to replace him with a major signing, but Giuliano, who was brought in for €7 million, has done a better job than any marquee signing could ever do. Of course, it has been impossible for Giuliano … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Zenit St. Petersburg

Zenit have actually done pretty well so far and currently sit in second going into the winter break. However, whilst this would not usually be too much of a panic, they are five points behind leaders Spartak Moscow which, with their form, could prove too much come the end of the campaign. Having said that, some new additions in January should give the Blue, White Navys the spark they need to push for that sixth top flight title. The Europa League has been a bright spot and the 2008 champions … [Read more...]

5 Things We Learned About Russian Football in September

1: Leonid Slutsky has lost his aura of invincibility Leonid Slutsky’s achievements in the past are indisputable. The 45-year-old CSKA Head Coach has won three Russian championships and two cups since taking over the Army Men in 2009, and he was furthermore the mastermind behind their sensational Champions League quarterfinal the same season. Despite working with a significantly smaller budget than his competitors in the top of the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL), Slutsky has … [Read more...]