Advocaat: Russian footbal must build on Zenit victory
Dutch coach Dick Advocaat said that Zenit St Petersburg's 2-0 UEFA Cup victory against Glasgow Rangers Wednesday in Manchester would be "incidental" if it did not bring changes.
During the match in the City of Manchester Stadium, Igor Denisov and Konstantin Zyrianov stunned the massive travelling Scottish support with two clinically taken second-half goals to secure the club's first European trophy with a 2-0 win.
Advocaat said that the win would only mean something if it was the start of something more.
"Hopefully this is the start for Russian football, and good stadiums and good facilities for kids are built. This prize should give Russians the belief that they can be a part of European football," he said.
"If this does not happen, this win is incidental."
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was one of the first to congratulate Advocaat after the victory.
The former president phoned the coach shortly after the victory and told him that he had achieved a great thing for Zenit St Petersburg and Russia.
"The prime minister said that he was very happy, and I said that I was also very happy," Advocaat said.
The 60-year-old coach said that winning a European competition was something that had previously elluded him in his career.
"A prize like this does not come often in your life. We are very proud of winning tonight, and the way we played, I think we really deserved this."
Although Zenit had knocked out competition favourites Bayern Munich in the semi-final, the former Dutch national coach said that Wednesday's game had been the most difficult.
"Against Bayern we went into the games as underdogs, and we had nothing to lose, but against Rangers people expected us to win. That is why it was important to keep playing organized football," he said.
"Rangers can score a goal out of nothing - it was open, but then we scored. Over 90 minutes, we were the better side and deserved the win."
The players had tried to pour champagne over Advocaat, who does not drink alcohol: "But I was too quick for them."
Advocaat, who previously had a successful stint as Rangers coach, said that he was impressed how much the club had achieved this season.
"I was hoping to win a European title with Rangers - hopefully they can win the league and the cup - if you can do that with a squad of 20, then that is great.", dpa reported.