The Italian stopper hailed the former Roma tactician and urged Zenit St. Petersburg to comeback stronger in the UEFA Champions League next season.
There’s little arguing that Zenit St. Petersburg are having an excellent Russian Premier League campaign, having created a 12-point lead atop the table with just four league games left to play.
But things were far from ideal during the second league round as CSKA Moscow had a 7-point lead atop the league table back in October. However, Zenit leapfrogged the Moscow-based club during the latest round to seal the top spot.
Domenico Criscito, who joined the St. Petersburg club from Genoa during last summer, has credited Luciano Spalletti for Zenit’s recent success and admitted that the former Udinese manager has maintained his reputation since making
the tough decision to move to the Russian top division.
“I am not surprised with the good performance this year. I think we should all thank Spalletti. He infected us with his ideas, gave us the strength to taste the victory. Luciano loves the game and not just that he wants to achieve
results. Zenit have decent players, all of them have achieved a lot in football.” The Italian national was quoted as saying.
Criscito went on to admit that the Meshki are the favourites to retain the league title ahead of Spartak Moscow, Dynamo Moscow and CSKA Moscow this season.
Aside from a fantastic domestic season, Criscito expressed his views on their UEFA Champions League campaign. Zenit managed to reach the round-of-16 after knocking down the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Porto in the group stages.
Criscito went on to lament their 3-4 aggregate defeat against Portuguese outfit, Benfica. Though Zenit managed to win the first leg 3-2 at home, they left the European tournament on a sad note after suffering a 2-0 defeat in Portugal.
The former Juventus player revealed that they would have reached the quarter-finals of the continental tournament had all their players remained fit. Criscito admitted that the absence of the attacking midfielder, Danny Miguel,
played a key role in their defeat.
Criscito admitted that the Eagles put immense pressure on Zenit during the return leg and got the desired result.