Hulk makes peace with Zenit after outburst
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Galatasaray midfielder Yekta Kurtuluş hails the crowd after the Istanbul team beat Sivasspor 3-1 to extend its lead in the Spor Toto Super League. AA photoZenit Saint Petersburg’s big-money Brazilian signing Hulk has made his peace with the club after threatening to leave following an early substitution last week, he said in an interview yesterday.
Zenit’s Italian manager Luciano Spalletti brought off Hulk with 10 minutes to go in the Champions League clash against AC Milan, prompting him to threaten to leave in the new year.
But Hulk told the Sport Express daily that such reactions were just normal behavior for a passionate player who wanted to do the best for his team.
“I play and train not just for myself but for the team. I think the desire to play until the final whistle is natural for a footballer,” he said. “I understand that the trainer has a right to a substitution but I was angry that I could not help my teammates.”
Hulk arrived at Zenit in September on a reported transfer of 60 million euros from Porto to spearhead the club’s ambitions but his high salary sparked a rebellion among Russian players that has only just been resolved.
To the chagrin of its owners, Russian gas giant Gazprom, Zenit has been knocked out of the Champions League.