Zenit KAZAN made their debut in the Champions League in the 2007/2008 season, winning the title of the elite European club competition at their very first attempt. Since then, they have participated in every single edition of the CEV Champions League and have set many records in the process.
Zenit KAZAN, for example, are the team with the most participations in the finals (8), the most victories in the tournament (6) and the most titles in a row (4). Zenit KAZAN have finished among the top four of the competition for nine years in a row – also an unprecedented and unrivalled feat.
The team from Kazan has already won the Champions League at Max-Schmeling-Halle – doing so in 2015, when they beat Asseco Resovia RZESZOW in the gold medal match (3-0). In the three subsequent finals, Zenit beat three Italian clubs – TRENTINO Diatec (3-2), Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA (3-0) and Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA (3-2). Now the team of Vladimir Alekno can continue this series of triumphs.
At the same time, in the quarterfinals, Zenit KAZAN were on the verge of a disaster, but eventually managed a Golden Set victory over Trefl GDANSK. In the semi-finals, Zenit KAZAN defeated Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA (3-2 away, 3-1 at home). The power of Zenit KAZAN lies in the vast experience of their players and in their winning attitude.
The final of the Champions League in Berlin will be special for some players of Zenit KAZAN. For Matthew Anderson, this game will be a farewell - he has already announced that he will continue his career at Azimut Leo Shoes MODENA next season. As for libero Alexey Verbov, this will be the last match of his competitive career since he will stop playing to focus on a coaching career – he is due to play the role of assistant coach of the Russian men’s national team.
“We look forward to the finals in Berlin, which will be the apotheosis of the season. We know that we are able to fight with any team and work in the right way for such important games. The phenomenon of Zenit KAZAN comes from our character, our philosophy. When new players join the team, they first learn to be strong in any situations. The nature of the winners comes in first place. Psychology plays a leading role in our success.”Alexander Butko - Captain