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The former Roma boss believes that the Barca legend is the best in the business, but the veteran midfielder would be a progressive choice as Dick Advocaat's successor

Luciano Spalletti believes that Pep Guardiola would be the best man to take over the vacant position as Russia coach, but also that Zenit St Petersburg veteran Sergey Semak would be a fine alternative.

The Football Union of Russia published a 13-strong list of candidates deemed to be worthy successors to Dick Advocaat, including stellar names such as the former Barcelona coach, Marcelo Bielsa and Fabio Capello.

And Spalletti, who has been in charge of Zenit since 2009, believes that the 41-year-old, as well as Semak, stand out as potential replacements for the Dutchman.

"From my point of view, the best of all the coaches to take over would be Guardiola," he told Zenit's official website. "It would be nice, because I feel a little Russian, if our team is coached by him.

"The names mentioned are all good and strong coaches. There's also the figure of Valery Nepomniaschy. When I look at him, he reminds me of [Giovanni] Trapattoni.

"But if I had to make a prediction for the future, we should choose a coach with some new ideas, who would give impetus to the establishment of football in the country, a man whose heart is very close to the country.

"In my opinion, if we want to get ahead of the times, then Semak would be the right person to coach the national team. This is a man with a great character, who has never had a bad relationship with the players.

"I say this seriously, perhaps against my own interests, because he has a contract with my team, and I'm pretty confident that he will be able to play next season, and the season after."

Semak, 36, has represented Russia on 65 occasions, and was part of the team that made it to the Euro 2008 semi-finals in Austria and Switzerland.

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