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FC Zenit

Published: Wednesday 1 January 2014, 18.32CET
Club profile
FC Zenit
Zenit celebrate winning the 2008 UEFA Cup ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 1 January 2014, 18.32CET

FC Zenit

Club profile

Formed: 1925
Nickname: Sine-Belo-Golubye (Blue and Whites)

UEFA club competition honours (runners-up in brackets)
• UEFA Cup: 2008
• UEFA Super Cup: 2008

Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)
• League title: 4 (2012)
• Soviet/Russian Cup: 3 (2010)

• While football has been played in St Petersburg since the 19th century, the city's main team were not founded until 1925, originally for workers from a local metal plant; the club initially played in local leagues, moving up to the Soviet second tier as Stalinets for a few years and playing in the top division for the first time in 1938.

• Stalinets reached the Soviet Cup final in 1939 but changed their name to Zenit in time for the following season having become part of the national Zenit sports organisation, which traditionally represented munitions workers; they beat PFC CSKA Moskva to win the 1944 Soviet Cup before going into decline.

• Zenit began to regain some momentum in the 1950s and with classical composer Dmitri Shostakovich among the regulars in the stands, steadily rebuilt their reputation; they first played in Europe in the 1981/82 UEFA Cup, having finished third in the league in 1980, but lost to FC Dynamo Dresden in their maiden European fixture.

• Better followed as Zenit Leningrad took their only Soviet title in 1984, though they were relegated five years later; the collapse of the Soviet Union soon afterwards preceded the club's rebirth as Zenit St Petersburg, and they have been Premier League regulars since 1996, winning the 1999 Russian Cup.

• Dutch coach Dick Advocaat then took the club on to another level; they won their first Russian title in 2007 before trumping that achievement the following year, an Andrey Arshavin-powered side beating Rangers FC 2-0 in the UEFA Cup final, and then taking the UEFA Super Cup with a 2-1 victory against Manchester United FC. Further league titles followed under Italian coach Luciano Spalletti in 2010 and 2012.

* Last updated 2 July 2013

Last updated: 27/01/14 19.34CET

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