One of Russia's best association football players, Alexander Kerzhakov, has shared that he decided to leave Russia in the fall of 2022. In an interview with journalist Nobel Arustamyan, the former professional footballer explained his decision by the “difficult situation” the country found itself in because of the war against Ukraine.
“Because of the current situation, we wanted to go somewhere warm and stay there instead of Russia. We didn’t want to flee or disown our homeland – just to leave for a while. ...You read and watch the news every day. You begin to realize the scale of what's happening. My wife and I felt very strongly about it, so we left,” Kerzhakov said.
Kerzhakov also admitted he was scared of what was going on.
“I’m scared. I could never imagine anything like that could happen. After almost every interview in which I was asked what my biggest wish was, I answered: ‘Let there be no war.’ I just don't get how it’s even possible for such things to happen in a modern, progressive society. I can't wrap my head around it. I don't have any answers.”
Kerzhakov is one of the most prolific goalscorers in the history of Russian football. He remains the best striker in the country (233 goals) and in the history of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg (161 goals).