Hulk: I have no relationship with Zenit St Petersburg fans

The forward says he does not have a problem with the club's supporters, purely because he does not understand any of their Russian chants
Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk has revealed he has no relationship with fans of the club as a result of the language barrier that has hampered his stay in Russia to date.

The 26-year-old moved to Zenit in a €55 million switch from Porto back in September, but has endured a mixed first season at the club, with rumours of a strained relationship with coach Luciano Spalletti following his premature withdrawal from a Champions League fixture.

Reports also claimed several of the Brazilian's team-mates were unhappy with his wages in comparison with the rest of the side, and he has now moved to set the record straight on several of those issues.

"I admit that at that time I did not accept [Luciano Spalletti's] decision [to substitute me]," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport

"With Spalletti, I still have good relations. Even though he does not talk much with the players, he is like me in that he's very prepared.

"When I play, I do not think [about my €55m price-tag]. I win, have fun and give my all. With my team-mates I had no problem, we talked over and clarified certain things.

"Neither did I have any problems with the fans, I have no relationship with them and I don't understand their chants in Russian, nor do I read the newspapers.

"Russian football is more tactical and defensive [than Portuguese], but the biggest difficulty is the cold. I live in the middle of St Petersburg. It's a beautiful city and I like to visit all the attractions with the whole family."

Hulk, who has been named in the Brazil squad to face Italy later this week, then revealed his admiration for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as two of Europe's top divisions.

"I love the Premier League and La Liga, I follow them on TV when I can. In England, there are some great teams, the style of play is great and so is the competition."

"Then there is Spain which has impressive quality. I'm passionate about the ability of [Andres] Iniesta and obviously [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, both of whom are phenomenal.

"AC Milan and Inter also have great players, tradition and history. I happen to see them every now and then.

"Serie A is a beautiful league in which my friends and former team-mates [Fredy] Guarin and Alvaro Pereira play."