Zenit to fire coach Villas-Boas, sign Pellegrini after CL ouster
Zenit to fire coach Villas-Boas, sign Pellegrini after CL ouster

Moscow, March 11 (IANS) Zenit Saint Petersburg football club intends to dismiss current head coach Andre Villas-Boas and open a new chapter with Chilean Manuel Pellegrini after the Russian team was eliminated from the European Champions League 16 round.

Zenit was eliminated from the knockout stage of the Champions League on Wednesday by Portugal’s Benfica, reports Efe.

Russian gas consortium Gazprom, sponsors of Zenit, made Villas-Boas’s contract contingent upon competing in the Champions League, particularly as the team is currently in fifth place in the Russian league, nine points behind leaders CSKA Moscow.

Zenit reached its zenith in 2007, when it won the Russian League and triumphed in the UEFA Europa League in 2008 after a 4-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. They beat Glasgow Rangers in the final.

Gazprom opted to pump multi-million investments into the club but without reaping any rewards as the Russian team has not won an European championship during the last eight seasons.