Date of birth: 27 February 1976
Playing career: FC Presnya Moskva, FC Karelia Petrozavodsk, FC Asmaral Moskva, PFC CSKA Moskva, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Moskva, FC Rubin Kazan, FC Zenit
Coaching career: FC Zenit
• A midfielder, Semak made his Russian top-flight debut as a teenager for Presnya Moskva – later renamed Asmaral – before switching to CSKA, where he was a club mainstay from 1994–2004, making 289 league appearances and scoring 69 goals. He collected his first major honour in 2002, lifting the Russian Cup with CSKA, with a maiden Premier-Liga championship following in 2003.
• Won the first of his 65 caps for Russia in the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off against Italy in Naples (0-1); travelled to Japan for the 2002 World Cup and later captained Guus Hiddink's side to the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2008.
• Struck four goals in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League – all against Paris – prompting the French outfit to buy him that winter, which caused him to miss out on CSKA's UEFA Cup triumph.
• A lack of success in Ligue 1 brought him back to Russia 12 months later, to Moskva; after two good seasons he joined Rubin for the 2008 campaign and went on to skipper the team from Tatarstan to consecutive Premier-Liga crowns. Left Rubin for Zenit midway through the 2010 campaign and proceeded to win the 2010 and 2011/12 titles, meaning he was a champion for four straight seasons.
• Having hung up his boots in 2013, Semak worked as Luciano Spalletti's assistant at Zenit, stepping in to take sole command for the remainder of 2013/14 after the Italian was dismissed that March.
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