World Cup 2018 celebrated in Moscow
FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, said in a press conference held at Moscow Luzhniki Stadium that Russia has hosted the best World Cup in history due to the hard work and welcoming attitude exhibited by Russian organizations on local and national levels.
“This World Cup has changed Russia… Football is now part of Russia’s DNA. It has also changed the perception of the world about Russia. Around a million people have come to Russia and everyone has discovered a wonderful and welcoming country,” he added.
Infantino also acknowledged the efforts and dedication of the Russian volunteers “who are the smile and the heart of the World Cup.”
According to Colin Smith, FIFA’s chief competitions officer, Russia recorded a 98-percent attendance rate in the first 61 games of the tournament. “
An estimated half a million fans visited fan zones on match days, while millions of people all over the globe actively followed the tournament on television. For those who don’t have tickets to the 2018 FIFA World Cup but were in Russia, FIFA’s Fan Fest zones provided a place to watch matches and share each game’s triumph with fans from all over the world. One of the biggest Fan Fest sites this year was at Moscow’s Vorobyovy Gory, a park overlooking the city and Luzhniki Stadium. It held 25,000 people at peak capacity.
Nikolskaya, the street that runs between Red Square and Lubyanka Square, became the unofficial party hub of the World Cup. The street events have been the heart of a city and country that met hundreds of thousands of visiting fans with a warm welcome. Large groups of fans could be found drinking, dancing and singing in the street, which was often tightly packed. The atmosphere was mainly jovial all the day through. A lot of hugs and photos taken!
This World Cup has been notable for the huge numbers of visitors from North and South America, with tens of thousands of Peruvians, Colombians, Mexicans, Argentinians and Brazilians all making the journey. It was mostly them who gave Nikolskaya its atmosphere. They all brought flags, costumes and music. The people’s stream was endless and most of the time resembled a carnival of nations.
Every four years, the world comes together for a festival of football that promises to make us forget all about the world’s troubles as best we can for a few weeks and unite in our collective humanity.