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One city – one team. St. Petersburg celebrates FC Zenit winning the Russian league

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One of the most memorable trophy celebrations for a football club - in the whole of Europe. These shots have gone viral online. A live chain of people along the embankments. Red-colored pyros have connected Troitskiy, Birzhevoy and Dvortsovyi Bridges, as well as Vasiliyevskiy Island’s and the Petropavlovskaya Fortress’ spits. A truly spectacular scene.

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Alexander Brius, reporter: “Hundreds of FC Zenit fans stayed out till after dark, celebrating the 5th title of the team and the jubilee of the beloved team at the place of special importance for every fan – the spit of the Vasiliyevskiy Island, which is depicted on the club’s crest. For now, though, without a star on top”

It will appear on the jerseys starting next season. 1984, 2007, 2010, 2012 and now 2015. The team managed to achieve its first star of a five-time champion during its jubilee year. Which has seen large-scale celebrations. They began on May 17th – straight after the final whistle against Ufa, when a draw sealed the title for FC Zenit.

Kerzhakov, Lodygin, Malafeev, Arshavin and the already-own foreigners were handing over microphone to one another on the stage, singing chants together with the crowd of fans. Hundreds of flags flew above the spit. The sky was lit up by dozens of pyros and fires on the Rostral Columns. The latter are usually lit for special occasions.

The main fan and the symbol of FC Zenit Mikhail Boyarskiy, having added another celebratory verse, dedicated the “Romance of St. Petersburg” from the “Motherland’s Pride” movie to the club’s 5th title.

Mikhail Boyarskiy, renowned actor: “Today, our motherland’s pride is FC Zenit – its victory. Even the ongoing Eurovision song contest cannot eclipse this feast of emotions in St. Petersburg. We have been waiting for it for a long time and now we got it”

The idea to have a city-wide celebration of the club’s birthday and success came from the governor. He proved he was a fan too, having entered the stage along the famed managers of the blue-whites sporting an FC Zenit scarf. He also seemed to have followed the club’s games.

Georgiy Poltavchenko, governor of St. Petersburg: “This is the strength of your hearts. The heart of those who sincerely roots for and believes in FC Zenit. The strength which gives Zenit its energy to win. Im sure that thanks to this strength, FC Zenit will continue winning. Because we are one city, we are one team, we are St. Petersburg!”

Which turned blue-white for one night. The Stock Exchange, the Arts square, the Dvortsovyi Bridge. Any team would be jealous of such support – and that’s only the beginning. The main parade of honor is scheduled for May 30th. After the players get their gold medals, Nevskiy Prospekt will turn into one major football festival. Which, judging by how determined the players are, may become a tradition. 

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