Zenit St Petersburg's Brazilian forward Hulk has said he is happy in Russia and nearing top form after an emphatic weekend victory left his side as joint league leaders. Hulk, 27, sought to lay to rest rumours that he was unsettled at Zenit after his side clinched a confident 4-0 win over hosts Rostov at the weekend.
Zenit, Spartak Moscow and reigning champions CSKA Moscow are all on 20 points from nine matches after this weekend's round of matches with Zenit taking the first spot due to their better goal difference.
Hulk, who has yet to regain top form after a leg injury, said that he pushed himself to the limit in both of the matches which he has played since his return.
"Of course, I wasn't 100-percent ready for the matches with Valencia (in the UEFA Champions League) and Rostov and failed to show everything I can do in these encounters," he said. "But I feel myself getting better and better with every new day and I hope I will be able to play at my top form pretty soon."
The Brazilian striker, who joined Zenit a year ago in what still is Russia's most expensive transfer deal, also said that he enjoyed life in Saint Petersburg, which he considered to be one of the world's most beautiful cities.
"I feel myself free here. We can walk in the local parks with my wife and children without any kind of pressure from journalists or football fans," he said in an interview with Zenit press service. "There are Brazilian restaurants here but we all also enjoy Russian cuisine very much. The only thing which has caused me some discomfort was the cold weather in winter. But the city looks very beautiful in winter when everything is covered with snow."
Hulk said that he was hoping to win some big trophies with Zenit, adding that he was dreaming of celebrating the success with his teammates at Nevsky prospect - the city's main street.
"I hope that the entire city will celebrate our success turning Nevsky prospect into a white and blue river. I believe that will come true some day."