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MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. One of Russia’s top football players Alexander Kerzhakov wants to become in the future the team manager of Zenit St. Petersburg football club, Maxim Mitrofanov, the club’s director general, told TASS.
In an exclusive interview with TASS, Mitrofanov compared Kerzhakov with another famous ex-Zenit player Andrey Arshavin, who, according to the club’s executive, wanted to carry on with his career of a football player and had no definite plans for the future.
"Kerzhakov, unlike Arshavin, has a clear-cut understanding of what he wants after wrapping up the career of a football player and dreams of becoming the team manager in Zenit," Mitrofanov said.
"I believe that it is the right thing to do hiring team’s former players, moreover, such high-class players, for the work in the club," he said. "This way we will manage passing the club’s philosophy from generation to generation."
Kerzhakov, who is currently playing on a loan for Zurich football club, was included last Friday in the preliminary roster of the national football team for friendly matches against Lithuania and France in late March. Playing for the Swiss club since January he scored a total of three goals in six matches.
The 33-year-old striker, who is the best scorer of the Russian national football team since 1992, played for Zenit St. Petersburg FC in 2001-2006 and from 2010 till this year’s January. The club’s Portuguese head coach, Andre Villas-Boas, repeatedly stated in the past that he did not see Kerzhakov in the club’s main squad in the future. The forward’s contract with Zenit FC expires on June 30, 2016.
Born on November 27, 1982 near St. Petersburg, Kerzhakov also played for Spain’s Sevilla FC (2007-2008) and Dinamo Moscow FC (2008-2009).
Kerzhakov scored a total of 30 goals in 90 matches playing for the Russian national team, becoming the top scorer of the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Overall, he scored 224 goals throughout his career in different football tournaments, including 160 scored goals in 368 matches playing for Zenit St. Petersburg FC.