Zenit stars played a five-a-side match... on an arctic oil rig
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For a television documentary to be broadcast in Russia on June 16, the club teamed up with Gazprom to create a football pitch on the oil company's Prirazlomnaya platform, 60 kilometres from shore.
Zenit's inspiration for a sponsor-collaborated film came from a Soviet nuclear submarine called the K-3, which, in September 1962, made history by reaching the North Pole. Once the submariners got there, they immediately started playing football on the ice.
Alexander Kokorin, Yuri Lodygin, Artem Dzyuba, Yuri Zhirkov, Nicholas Lombaerts and former Zenit coach Sergei Semak made the journey for the documentary, filmed last year, and played a match with the Prirazlomnaya-based workers.
The two teams were a mix of workers and footballers, and they played out a 30 minute, five-a-side game right there on the oil rig. We don't suspect anyone was in a rush to fetch any stray balls, though.