MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti)
(UPDATES with quotes, background)
Russia captain Igor Denisov hopes to bury the hatchet with his club Zenit St. Petersburg, where he has been frozen out of the first team over an alleged salary dispute.
The combative midfielder, a key part of the club's title-winning team over the last two seasons, was dropped to reserves team after the club said he issued a pay rise ultimatum in protest at the huge salaries of new arrivals Hulk and Axel Witsel.
Despite missing three league games and one Champions League match, Denisov was called into Fabio Capello's 24-man World Cup qualifiers squad to face Portugal on Friday and Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
"I want to thank the head coach for keeping faith and calling me into the national team for these games," Denisov said after training at Luzhniki stadium on Thursday. "I'll do everything I can to repay the trust."
"As concerns Zenit, having read the reports in the press, I think this is unfair to me at the very least," he said. "And I'll do everything possible to work things out with the club and close this matter when I get back from the national team."
Denisov was chided by club coach Luciano Spalletti for his actions, with the Italian claiming the 28-year-old enforcer put his own needs ahead of the club's.
Three weeks spent with the Zenit reserves have not blunted his skills, Denisov said.
"I'm 100 percent ready for tomorrow's game," he said.
Denisov has 32 caps for Russia.
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