Zenit striker Hulk admits that there is extra pressure on him to succeed
Zenit Saint Petersburg striker Hulk has admitted that the huge transfer fee paid for him means there is extra pressure on him to succeed in Russia. The forward moved to Zenit in August for €60m and is keen to repay the club for investing so much in him.
Hulk, 26, should be used to adapting to new cultures. He left his home country early in his career to move to Japan to earn more money and because opportunities were limited in Brazil. Now he has to do the same in much higher profile circumstances.
He told Globo Esporte: "Today I have to deal with that higher pressure but I try to always keep my feet on the ground, regardless of anything."
Despite the huge fee paid by Zenit, the former Porto star is not guaranteed a start in Brazil coach Mano Menezes team, especially given the rise of young stars like Neymar, Oscar and Lucus Moura over the past few years. However, the striker is determined to be a fixture for the national team.
"When the Mano called me, I was very happy. He said if I continue playing well at Porto, winning titles and being a prominent player, then I would certainly have that opportunity.
"My goal is to always be in the squad. The two competitions we now have are the Confederations Cup, and then most importantly, the World Cup in Brazil, and these are a dream for any player. We know that disputes are large and there are many quality players."
For Hulk to stay in Menezes thoughts he will have to improve the form that has seen him score just once so far for Zenit. But the player is not worried.
"I've played with Porto in many places and not so cold that I stopped playing and doing my job. But I think that adaptation is logically different. Thank God, I am able to do well and I adapt quickly."