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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Hulk defends Zenit move

Brazilian striker Hulk has defended his move to Zenit, claiming that he wanted a new challenge and did not choose the club because of the money.

Hulk and Axel Witsel became the first black players to represent Zenit after signing for the club in September
Hulk and Axel Witsel cost a combined €80 million.

Hulk, 26, cost the Russian side €40 million in the summer and has had problems settling in the country after clashing with manager Luciano Spalletti and some of his team-mates.

Since then he has been linked to Manchester City, Real Madrid, and with a potential move back to Portugal, but insists he is happy and hopes to add to his collection of silverware which already includes three Portuguese Liga titles, the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup.

“I decided to go to Zenit because I had won almost every competition at Porto and I like new challenges in my career,” he told O Estado de Sao Paolo. “I hope I can carry on winning like that in the near future.

“I am getting used to my new home. Now I need to focus on football. The biggest challenge in Russia was the cold weather at first but after playing games at -12, I think I am settling down quickly.”

Hulk also revealed that he has no problems with Zenit captain Igor Denisov, who publicly criticised the club’s expensive moves for the Brazilian and midfielder Axel Witsel.

"He [Denisov] never said anything to me. They talked among themselves and the board did not like it because it became public. But that is in the past," he added. "Today we have a good relationship. All this was overcome. We have no more problems."

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