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The former CSKA Moscow and Rubin Kazan midfielder has reflected on the factors behind his extraordinary longevity

Zenit St Petersburg's Sergei Semak says "luck, hard work and ambition" are behind his record-breaking 453 appearances in the Russian Premier League.

The midfielder achieved the feat against Rubin Kazan last month and then spoke about the various reasons behind his continued longevity.

"Several factors have helped me achieve this," he told Uefa.com.

"Luck, hard work and ambition, but of course without natural ability it would have been very difficult. I also want to say thanks to my parents for my health which has helped me avoid serious injuries. I am also grateful to the teams I've played for – there has always been a place for me."

Semak, who has played all of his club career in Russia, aside from a brief spell with Paris Saint-Germain, also reflected on selective games from the past that have remained firmly in his memory.

He added: "The bigger the tournament, the more matches I remember.

"Euro, Uefa Champions League and decisive matches in the Russian league stand out. At the same time really disappointing games stay in the memory even longer. I still have a bad aftertaste from the match between CSKA and FC Lokomotiv Moskva in 2002.”

That defeat cost his side the league title and the 37-year-old will be desperate to avoid another disappointment this time around, with Zenit six points adrift of leaders CSKA.

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