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Zenit's Belgian Star Heavily Praises Dundalk And Is Fully Aware Of The Financial Disparity

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Dundalk play in Tallaght twice in the next week. They'll be the away team tomorrow against Shamrock Rovers. The following week they return as hosts as they face Zenit St. Petersberg in their third Europa League group match.

Zenit have won two from two and sit top of the group, two points ahead of Dundalk in 2nd place.

When the draw was made, the Russians greeted it by tweeting out a gif of an angry leprechaun. The world opted not to take offence but the club account swiftly deleted the tweet and presumably rapped the offender across the knuckles.

Since then, Zenit have grown more acquainted by Dundalk.


Their Belgian star player Axel Witsel has conceded nothing in the way of dressing room wall material. No morsels for any slighted manager to nibble on.

Speaking to the Mirror, he praised his opponents to the skies, admitting he knew little of Dundalk before the season.


I didn’t know a lot about Dundalk before this season – but of course I have heard about them now with two matches against them coming up for Zenit.

All I really knew about the club before was the name, and not too much else.

But we are already studying them and how they have done in the Champions League qualifiers and then the first two matches in the Europa League.

And like for any team in Europe, we will have our meetings and look at ways to win those games.

I have heard that their budget for the whole team for the year is something like €1.5 million, but it would be a mistake to think it is only about the money.

For reference, Zenit's annual budget is €165 million. Dundalk's hovers around €1 million.


Hopefully Witsel finds Dundalk more of a challenge than he did Ireland, when he played against for Belgium this summer. He headed home the second goal which effectively put the match beyond Ireland.

Read more: The FIFA President's Controversial World Cup Changes Should Make Things Easier For Ireland

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