AC Sparta Praha's UEFA Champions League hero Marek Kincl has left Czech football for Russian club FC Zenit St. Peterburg.
The 30-year-old forward, whose last-ever touch for Sparta was the dramatic late winner in the 1-0 victory against S.S. Lazio last week that sent Sparta through to the Champions League first knockout round, has agreed a three-year deal with the Russian league runners-up. He will be joined at Zenit by F.Y.R. Macedonia defender Velice Sumolikoski who leaves another Czech side, 1. FC Synot.
Kincl also links up with Czech coach Vlastimil Petrzela, who guided Zenit to second place and UEFA Cup qualification in his first season in charge. The trainer already has four Czech players - Lukás Hartig, Pavel Mareš, Martin Horák and Radek Šírl - but Kincl is a prized recruit, particularly as he had the chance of helping Sparta strive for more European success.
Kincl had been with Sparta for three years and has played a total of 187 games with six clubs, scoring 55 goals. The Czech international said: "
I am hoping to meet the expectations of the Zenit fans. I know how strong a following they have. I am very interested to taste Russian football."
Confident over future
Meanwhile, Sumolikoski, the 22-year-old international, has signed a five-year deal. He said: "I am not expecting problems in adapting to life in Russia. I am sure the silver medallists of the Russian league are a very strong side."
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