You could be forgiven for thinking it’s a scene from Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel War and Peace.
Most football teams choose to parade their newly-won trophies through the streets on a double-decker bus while spraying champagne, but Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg adopted an altogether less orthodox approach.
As Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere could be seen and heard leading expletive laden chants on Arsenal’s FA Cup trophy parade Sunday, Zenit St. Petersburg celebrated their fourth Russian Premier League title at the weekend – Russian aristocratic style.
In a photo posted on Javi Garcia’s Instagram feed, members of Zenit’s first-team squad along with coach Andre Villas-Boas are pictured dressed up in traditional 19th Century Russian costumes to mark their first league title win for three years.
“This picture was made generally like of Russian style of XIX century – and it was Nike’s idea,” a Zenit spokeman told CNN, referring to the American sportswear company, which provides the Russian’s club kit.
“Traveling back to the times when S.t Petersburg was a capital of Russia, Nike aimed to capture Zenit’s ascension to the football throne and to honor the club’s history and heritage in close connection to the city itself,” said a spokeswoman for the sportswear company.
“The work was shot in St Petersburg by renowned fashion photographer Tim Bret Day, days before the last game of the season.
“The group shot positions the team as 19th Century Russian aristocracy, with the players shown planning the strategy for their next onslaught on the championship,” the spokeswoman added.
Zenit was officially confirmed as champions a couple of weeks ago following a 1-1 draw against FC Ufa to secure the trophy with two games to spare.
The club was also crowned Soviet champions in 1984.