May 24, 2016 / 2:36 PM / in 3 years

Romanian Lucescu takes over as Zenit coach

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu Reuters / Marcelo del Pozo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu has taken over as the head coach of Zenit St. Petersburg, the Russian club said on Tuesday.

The 70-year-old Romanian, who spent 12 years in charge of Shakhtar, has signed a two-year contract with Zenit, with an option for a further year, the club said on their website (

Lucescu takes over from Andre Villas-Boas, who coached the team from March 2014. The Portuguese decided to leave the club from Russia’s second city after his contract expired.

Zenit finished the 2015-16 season third in the league standings they won the Russian Cup, missing out on a place in the Champions League.

Lucescu has previously coached the Romanian national team, Inter Milan and Turkish clubs Galatasaray and Besiktas.

During his time in Donetsk, he won 22 trophies, including eight national titles and the 2008-09 UEFA Cup.

Reporting By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy, editing by Ed Osmond

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