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In 2018, the words Russia and football became inseparable. The whole world looked on as Russia hosted the biggest sporting tournament of the year, and it was a spectacle that did not disappoint. The performance of the home team, rank outsiders who nevertheless made it all the way to the quarter finals, showed that there is plenty of footballing talent, as well as enthusiasm, within Russia.

But that is no newsflash to students of the game. Russia might not have brought us as many big-name stars as the UK, Brazil or France, but there are some players whose talents have made them a magnet for the biggest teams in Europe. Let’s meet a few of them.

Football stadium in Russia
Image by Sergey Petrov from Pixabay

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Jan/21

27

Soccer Stadiums You Have to Visit in Russia

Russia’s star athletes have won major accolades around the world of sports for decades, with the nation being noted as one of the best in many competitions. Ice hockey and boxing are among the most notable at present, with the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nikita Kucherov among hockey’s finest, and Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol, Sergey Kovalev, and Alexander Povetkin being dominant forces in boxing.

However, much like most other European nations, Russia is also a huge fan of soccer, with football being among the most popular sports in the nation. The sport has always been popular, but in 2018, the level of fandom stepped up another notch, or ten, with the country hosting the FIFA World Cup.

As a result, many people now see Russia’s soccer stadiums as must-view attractions, with several of the best featuring prominently in the massively televised event. If you’re one such soccer enthusiast, these are the most exquisite and historic soccer stadiums in Russia for you to visit.

Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Russia

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Author: Jonathan Turner

Zenit St Petersburg kick-started preparations for the new season last week when the players and staff returned from the off-season break. There are no new faces yet and only one departure confirmed, so the fans are eagerly waiting for the next months.

Apart from those absent for international duty, a full complement of players joined head coach Sergei Semak’s first training session in St Petersburg, before the squad headed to Austria on June 18 for the first Gazprom Training Camp and some friendly games.

With the new season just a few weeks away – Zenit’s first official match of the 2019/20 season is against Lokomotiv in the Russian Super Cup on July 8. How are the defending champions shaping up ahead of the new campaign?

FC Zenit St. Petersburg, Russia

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Although there is certainly no shortage of boxing talent in all the main weight divisions at present, the Light Heavyweight division stands out as being particularly competitive. Three of the four main title belts are currently held individually by Russian boxers, with the serious possibility that over the next couple of years, unification bouts could be on the cards.

Unifying title belts is an extremely difficult feat to achieve, not only in a sporting sense, but also in terms of organization. Each of the four main governing bodies for international boxing, WBA, WBA, IBF and WBO, all have their own rankings and preferred challengers for each title belt. This makes any unification of two or more belts an extremely difficult proposition.

Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the three Russian fighters who will be aiming for unification glory in the Light Heavyweight division.

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The Gostiny Dvor (The Old Merchant Court), built in the 1790s-1830s, is a historical monument located in the heart of Moscow (Il’inka Street, 4), a few hundred meters from the famous Red Square. Today, it is a large recreation, business and retail center.

During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, this building houses the National House of the Fans of Mexico (from June 14 to July 15). The entrance is free. Here you can taste national Mexican cuisine, get acquainted with the culture of this country and of course watch football. The Gostiny Dvor on Google Maps. Photos by: Nefer.

House of Mexico Fans in Moscow, World Cup, Russia, photo 1

very colorful place

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Alexey Belous, a graphic designer from Tula, created 44 posters for the 2018 World Cup. The posters are dedicated to the cities and stadiums of the championship, as well as to all national teams.

On the posters dedicated to the stadiums, the author shows how this sports festival is held in the cities with football stadiums in their centers. The arenas are reminiscent of schemes and drawings, as the World Cup is a big construction project.

All cities and national teams of the World Cup in Russia.

Posters for the World Cup 2018 in Russia, poster 1

cool posters of the World Cup 2018

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The World Cup in Russia will begin in a few days. During this event, a large number of various souvenir products will be available: nesting dolls, T-shirts, balls, mugs, toys, and so on.

Russian state structures are also involved in this. For example, The Central Bank of the Russian Federation issued a series of commemorative coins including silver and gold ones dedicated to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Let’s take a look at them.

Silver coins with a nominal value of 3 rubles dedicated to all cities of the World Cup 2018.

Moscow

World Cup 2018 Russia coins, picture 1

World Cup 2018 coins

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The final part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018. The matches will be played at 12 stadiums in 11 cities. Let’s take a look at these stadiums and the matches they will host. Construction work is still ongoing in several stadiums. Photos by: FIFA.com

Matches of the World Cup 2018 at the Krestovsky Stadium also known as Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg.

June, 15, 18:00 MSK (UTC+3) – Match 4: Morocco – Iran
June, 19, 21:00 MSK (UTC+3) – Match 17: Russia – Egypt
June, 22, 15:00 MSK (UTC+3) – Match: 25: Brazil – Costa Rica
June, 26, 21:00 MSK (UTC+3) – Match 39: Nigeria – Argentina
July, 3, 17:00 MSK (UTC+3) – Match 55: Winners Group F – Runners-up Group E (Round of 16)
July, 10, 21:00 MSK (UTC+3) – Match 61: Winners Match 57 – Winners Match 58 (Semi-finals)
July, 14, 17:00 MSK (UTC+3) – Match 63: Losers Match 61 – Losers Match 62 (Third place play-off)

Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia, photo 1

stadiums and matches of the World Cup 2018

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In the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, the final draw for the the 2018 World Cup Russia was completed.

32 teams participating in the championship were divided into eight groups, while Russia, as the host country, hit the first basket and headed the group A. Photos by: FIFA.com

Final Draw of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, photo 1

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Eleven host cities of FIFA World Cup 2018, that will be held in Russia, got their unique symbols to demonstrate to the world their cultural values, architectural features, and natural beauty.

The idea is good but the result as you can see is controversial. This giant red snake looks a little intimidating. Source.

Moscow

Official Look of Host Cities of World Cup 2018 in Russia - Moscow

symbols of World Cup 2018

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