Domenico Criscito has revealed the reasons why he chose to join Zenit rather than hometown club Napoli.
The defender completed his move to Russia yesterday despite the fact that Genoa had previously agreed a deal with the Azzurri.
"It would have been a dream for me to join Napoli," he told Sportitalia. "The San Paolo is one of the few stadiums that excites me.
"However, I didn't like some of the words of President Aurelio De Laurentiis, who said that I must join the club because the Azzurri jersey is a religion.
"Their economical offer was also low in respect to what I was earning at Genoa."
Criscito was also being monitored by other clubs, but he decided to head to Luciano Spalletti's Zenit.
"People have spoken well of the place and fortunately my Coach will be Italian," he added. "It'll be different from Italy, but the team is strong and I have the right stimulus to do well."
Criscito's agent, Andrea D´Amico, also thinks that his client made the right choice in moving outside of Serie A.
"We had two or three options and Zenit was the best for economical and technical reasons," he told Radio Sportiva.
"Napoli made their offer, but we declined and talks with Zenit didn't take very long," D'Amico continued.
"I don't think he'll have any trouble in Russia and I don't think he'll be under-estimated by Italy boss Cesare Prandelli."
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.