Autograph session of former players of the Russian national team Sergey Yuran, Dmitry Bulykin and Andrei Solomatin in the pavilion dedicated to the World Cup 2018 during the celebration of the "Moscow football Day" in Luzhniki Stadium © Alexander Zelikow / TASS
Pavilion dedicated to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was opened in Luzhniki Stadium. The pavilion presented the official football balls of the previous World Championships. The visitors could take part in the contest for the knowledge of football and chat with former players of the Russian National team Dmitry Bulykin, Sergei Juran and Andrei Solomatin.
"Moscow football Day"
The opening ceremony was held in the framework of the football tournament "Moscow football Day" The event was attended by General Director of the Organizing Committee "Russia-2018" Alexey Sorokin, who noted the high attendance of the tournament, despite the rainy weather. "It is amazing that in this weather there are so many people. Today, 778 teams participate in the tournament - an important indicator of the popularity of football in Russia. According to a recent survey, more than 90% of the Russian population know about approaching 2018 World Cup," Sorokin said.
Sorokin said that the Organizing Committee is planning a tour of the stand for the 2018 World Cup in different cities. "From time to time we are putting such stands in the regions. But we have an idea to hold a special exhibition tour in all the host cities of the World Cup,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Yuri Nagornykh, who also attended the opening ceremony, also noted the high interest in the tournament. "Despite the rain, I see that everyone in a good mood. This event is timed to coincide with the 2018 World Cup, and I hope it will give us the positive emotions to support our team in the tournament," he said.
Former player of the Russian national team Andrei Solomatin noted, that a large number of players is talking about the growing interest in football on the eve of the World Cup.
"I was pleased to respond to the invitation to participate in this event. No matter what the weather conditions are like for the tournament. We as kids, too, played football in any weather. The most important thing is that children are involved in sports. The upcoming World Cup will serve to popularize football in Russia, because even now there is almost nobody who would not know that our country will host the most important football event in 4 years,” Solomatin said.
Tournament becomes tradition
The tournament "Moscow football Day" was first held in 2014, in Luzhniki Stadium. Competition rules are simple – a team wins in each category. The tournament is held according to the rules of mini-football in two stages: the group and the playoffs. The duration of the match - two halves of five minutes.
Previous tournament was held in three age categories, but the number of participants was much smaller - about 4,000 people or 500 teams participated.
The event was attended by Chairman of the Organizing Committee "Russia 2018", Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, Vice-president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) Nikita Simonyan, President of the Moscow football federation Sergei Anokhin, CEO of Adidas Herbert Hainer, General Secretary of the German Football Association (DFB ) Helmut Sandrock.
Training sessions with German coaches and mass sporting events for everybody were held during the event.
Football in Moscow
Every year in Moscow more than 1,700 mass sports tournaments in mini-football are carried out, including 1,300 on the district level, 310 of a district level and 90 - city. Key participants are children, teenagers and young people.
The 19 institutions of the Moscow State Department for Physical Culture and Sport. have departments for football, which at the beginning of 2015 had more than 19,000 young Muscovites. There are 235 football and mini-football classes in Moscow, with more than 5,000 people.
The largest of these events is the Moscow City football tournament among children and teenage teams for the prizes of the club "Leather Ball". Competitions are divided into three stages: region - district - city. The tournament is held in Moscow in three age groups for boys - 10-11 years, 12-13 years, 14-15 years. Young players who are not pupils of the sports schools, involved in clubs and sections of the community are participating in the tournament. In 2015, the tournament was attended by 13,500 children.
Leading professional football clubs CSKA, Spartak, Lokomotiv, Dynamo Moscow also have their system of training young football players.
Moscow football clubs
The main professional football clubs of Moscow are Spartak, Dynamo, CSKA, Torpedo and Lokomotiv - were founded in the first quarter of XX century.
Spartak is a 12-time champion of the USSR. It is second only to Dynamo Kiev, which has 13 gold medals. Spartak has won the Russian championship 9 times. Since the 1980’s, Spartak was performing regularly in the European competition and in its history reached the semi-finals of the Champions Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
Dynamo Moscow was a champion of the USSR 11 times. Dynamo gained the European fame back in 1945, when he went on a tour in the UK, where the team played with the leading clubs in England, Wales and Scotland. The team had four meetings, won two (against Cardiff and Arsenal), and had two ties (against Chelsea and Rangers). The total number of spectators in the four games reached 275,000 poeple.
CSKA is the most titled club in the Russian history. CSKA won the national championship 5 times (2003, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2014.), and was the first among the Russian clubs to win a European trophy - the UEFA Cup-2004/05. CSKA is a 7-time champion of the USSR (1946, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1970, 1991.).
Moscow Torpedo was one of the strongest clubs In Soviet times. The team won the USSR championship 3 times (1960, 1965, 1976.), 15 times the team played the finals of the USSR Cup and won six times (1949, 1952, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1986.). Torpedo has one of the most famous players of the XX century - Eduard Streltsov.