In July 2005, Zenit destroyed Amkar in the match of the next round of the Russian Championship. The team of Vlastimil Petrzhela defeated the rivals with a score of 5:1, and Andrey Arshavin became the main character. The young football player notably mocked the defense of Perm and scored three goals. But the player did not celebrate any of the goals. After the match, Arshavin revealed the reason for such an act – he expressed disagreement with the transfer of Vladimir Bystrov.

Bystrov left for Spartak after the conflict. Following Vladimir, Arshavin could move to Moscow

The match with Amkar took place three days after the sale of Bystrov to Spartak. The transition to a principal rival is a high-profile event. Football St. Petersburg was seething with indignation, besides, there were rumors that after Bystrov, Arshavin would put on a red and white T-shirt. The former general director of Zenit, Ilya Cherkasov, later noted that Bystrov’s departure was beneficial to the club in two ways. The first is financial (€ 4 million), the second is to improve the atmosphere in the team.

“It was necessary to get rid of Bystrov, I would say, for sanitary and hygienic reasons. How much did he earn at Zenit then? About 200 thousand euros a year, probably. And in Spartak, he received several times more. I note that the atmosphere in the team after the departure of Vladimir quickly improved: the constant feeling of discontent and conflict was gone.

According to Bystrov’s statements, one might think that Volodya was confronted with a fact against his will. But no one from the team pushed him out. But his agent Pavel Andreev appeared in my office. With two offers from Spartak – € 3 million for Bystrov and € 8 million for Arshavin.

I did not even discuss the proposal for Arshavin. Andrey by that time was already a star, he constantly played for the national team. On the game to him not the slightest question arose. Although, I emphasize, € 8 million for us then is a cosmic amount! And if negotiations had begun, Spartak would have paid ten. If we agreed to sell Andrei, he would also go to Spartak with pleasure, ”Cherkasov said in an interview with the Futbol weekly.

“His career was going downhill.” How Bystrov was sold from Zenit to Spartak

In addition, Bystrov had a conflict with head coach Vlastimil Petrzhela. The Czech specialist believes that the transition to Spartak, in fact, saved the midfielder’s career.

Vlastimil Petrzhela

Vlastimil Petrzhela

Photo: RIA Novosti

According to Petrzhela, by that time Bystrov had stopped progressing at Zenit. This is how the coach described the relationship with the player in his book.

“Some of my worst memories of Zenit are connected with his departure, and most importantly, the background of his departure. The point, in the end, is not the sale of Volodya to Spartak, but the fact that by 2005 we had practically lost the player who grew up before our eyes in the silver season, who was counted on as a symbol of the team.

Then Zenit received a very lucrative offer from Spartak, and by that time Vova had become a different person for the club than he was two years ago, and a different player. His antics didn’t bother me much – personally, I never heard anything bad from Bystrov directly. But the base staff often complained to me about the presumptuous player. The guy was rude right and left, and the saddest thing was that he didn’t “beat off” his such behavior with a game.

Bystrov said he did not want to leave. And publicly criticized Petrzhela

Bystrov himself, of course, did not agree with such an assessment of the foreign coach. Then the Russian footballer was seriously offended by Petrzhela and considered him the main culprit for the sale to Spartak. After moving to Moscow, Bystrov criticized the coach. He stated that the Czech specialist is pursuing a targeted policy of surviving Russian football players from Zenit.

Vladimir Bystrov

Vladimir Bystrov

ex-midfielder of Zenit and Spartak

“It was profitable for the Zenit management to sell me … I myself was not going to leave, shortly before that, my salary was raised. But if I had rested, they would have exiled me to the double – this has already been done with young players at Zenit. Petrzhela is a good coach, but he acted vilely. He paid for this later. He could have gone with the team, but decided otherwise.”

Bystrov’s transition to Spartak was a shock for Zenit players. Vladislav Radimov, on emotions, even wanted to part with the captain’s armband. An experienced footballer was upset that he could not convince Vladimir to continue his career at Zenit. Rumor has it that at the first training session after the departure of Bystrov, Radimov had a fight with Arshavin. Vladislav was offended that Andrei and Vladimir did not let him in on the details of the transfer. The conflict was extinguished, and Zenit threw out all the sports anger at the Amkar that arrived in St. Petersburg.

Vladimir Bystrov in Spartak

Vladimir Bystrov in Spartak

Photo: Alexander Safonov, “Championship”

Andrey had a legendary match with Amkar and scored a hat-trick. But did not celebrate goals in protest

It was Arshavin’s day. Andrei scored a hat-trick and scored in a variety of styles. First, he closed a canopy from the flank with his head, and in this episode the defense of Amkar left the nimble player alone in the center of the penalty area. Then Arshavin beat three opponents, jumped out at an angle to the goalkeeper and easily outplayed him. And immediately after the break, Andrey ran away from his half of the field from one defender, threw the ball past the second and threw an elegant “parachute” behind the goalkeeper. The beauty!

Radimov was the first to congratulate his comrade after each goal and say something to him. And after the second ball, he grabbed Andrey by the cheek and pushed him away, apparently trying to turn on the main character of the match even more. Arshavin himself defiantly did not celebrate any of his three goals. And after the match, he explained that he did it as a protest against the sale of his friend Bystrov.

“If my words mean something in our city and they are trusted, I quite responsibly declare that he did not want to leave Zenit. Therefore, you can regard my speech as a protest. Everything was done so that he would leave. Scoring goals for Zenit and remaining indifferent at the same time, I once again used my opportunity to speak out, to express my disagreement with what was happening. In principle, I know that Spartak was interested in me. I even know the amount that he offered the management for me. But for now I’m a Zenit player. Judging by the sale that has begun in the club, I may well be among those who will be sold, ”Arshavin said after the Sport Weekend match.

Andrey Arshavin

Andrey Arshavin

Photo: RIA Novosti

But Petrzhela, after a successful match, said that all the Zenit players knew that Bystrov had done wrong. “The team is very upset that they spat on me, spat on Zenit about Bystrov. It really helped set up the players. Everyone knew the guys that Bystrov was wrong. No one held his hand to sign the contract. So the team really wanted to win.”

Later, Radimov organized a meeting in one of the St. Petersburg restaurants with the participation of Arshavin, Petrzhela and the chairman of the board of directors of Zenit, David Traktovenko. The first two subsequently stated that the meeting was useless, and Radimov said the following: “Everyone remained in his opinion, but I think it became easier.” Be that as it may, after that Arshavin did not go anywhere.

The strangest celebration of Arshavin.  Why did he go through Bystrov's stomach with spikes?
The strangest celebration of Arshavin. Why did he go through Bystrov’s stomach with spikes?

Bystrov, in turn, reconciled with Petrzhela. Here is what the football player said shortly before the end of his professional career in an interview with the official website of Krasnodar: “I have very good impressions of Petrzhel. That, I can not stand it – complete nonsense. Yes, he initiated my sale to Spartak. It suited everyone then. Everything worked, and I was too young to say no. I quickly believed that I did not need a coach. But it was Petrzhela who taught us to be bold. Thanks to him, we restructured our thinking. We realized that we can do everything on the field. Petrzhela was a good psychologist. He could appear on the edge suddenly and instantly change the tone of the lesson. At once the earth literally flew away from under our feet.

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