Salomon Rondon punishes Rubin
Rubin Kazan paid the price for waiving a clause that allowed Zenit St Petersburg to field Salomon Rondon as the striker scored a hat trick after coming off the bench in a 6-2 win against his former club.
Rondon, who joined Zenit on Jan. 31, was introduced as a 66th-minute substitute with his side clinging onto a 2-1 lead. The 24-year-old headed home for 3-1 with his first touch and then added a further two goals and an assist to secure victory for Andre Villas-Boas' side.
Zenit paid 18 million euros to take Rondon to Saint Petersburg but Rubin had reportedly stipulated that it would cost a further three million to allow him to play in Sunday's fixture. Zenit opted not to pay.
However, the two clubs surprisingly reached an agreement 24 hours before kick-off that permitted Villas-Boas' side to field Rondon and Rubin to play Zenit loanee Pavel Mogilevets.
"I am a bit sorry for my former teammates at Rubin, but that is football," Rondon told the media after the match. "I am at Zenit now, and I tried to do my absolute best."
Rondon, who had scored three goals for Rubin at Ural in September, became the only player in Russian history to score hat tricks for two different teams in the same season.
The former Malaga player said he would send the match ball to his family in Venezuela, adding: "I want to share the joy with people in my homeland who follow my success."
Zenit had not beaten Rubin at home since 2010 and had lost all three of their league fixtures against them during the Venezuela international's time in Kazan, with Rondon twice scoring the winning goals in those games.