Russia 2018: The Tournament of Dreams

Russia 2018: The Tournament of Dreams
Russia 2018: The Tournament of Dreams
Russia is the world's largest country with a population of over 140 million. More than half of the population are football fans or at least follow the sport occasionally. FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia is a phenomenally powerful magnet and living proof of the fact that humanity has been unable to invent anything more magical than a seemingly simple ball game: the championship will unite 190 ethnicities that populate Russia and about 2,000 nationalities from around the world.
Beginnings
Just like in the rest of the world, football is the most popular sport in Russia. The game came to Russia in the 1910s at the suggestion of English engineers who worked at the factories of industrialist Savva Morozov and quickly spread throughout the country.Today it is not just a form of entertainment - it's part of Russia's national culture.
This massive project must unite the efforts of the government, businesses, nongovernmental organizations and fans. I have no doubt that we will rise to the occasion. We will host one of the most exciting World Cups in the history of football.
Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation
The first football matches usually took place in the central town squares and at village commons between the teams of factories, plants, districts, schools, professional, and athletic societies.

By the early 1930s, almost every city had one or several clubs representing it at off-site tournaments. The Soviet Union's national team was established in 1923 but didn't take part in high-profile international tournaments until the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. In 1956, the Soviet national team won the gold at Melbourne. The Soviet Union team first made it to the finals of the World Cup in 1958.
121 515 spectators

The Soviet Union team was the most-watched team of the group stage of World Cup 1958
42 goals

Striker Oleg Blokhin, playing for the Soviet national team, scored the most goals
100 games without goals

Lev Yashin was the first goalkeeper in Soviet football history to play 100 games without conceding a single goal
Unifying idea
Football is more than a game. For the host countries, the World Cup has become a chance to showcase national achievement with the whole world looking on. The championship is an excellent stimulus for renovation as preparations require stadium construction, promoting football, and boosting tourism; improving transportation, hospitality infrastructure, and telecommunications technology; and establishing various social programmes.

Russia is a country of rich athletic tradition and lots of experience in organising prestigious international tournaments, including football ones. In 2008, Moscow hosted the final of the Champions League and Manchester United played Chelsea at Luzhniki Stadium. In 2013, Kazan hosted the Universiade, a global athletic competition of university students. In 2014, Sochi was home to the Winter Olympics and Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix. In 2015, the Black Sea resort is hosting the World Aquatics Championships. In 2016, Moscow and St. Petersburg will host the World Hockey Cup.
We need some sort of a unifying idea that will inspire colossal numbers of people. The World Cup may become the idea that will unite the efforts of many Russians. The result will be a completely transformed country.
Alexei Sorokin,General Director of the Local Organising Committee Russia 2018
All of these events unite Russians, allowing them to be proud of their country not only for its athletic achievements, but also for the quality of the organised events, for the accessibility and the openness of the Russian and international sports stars.

FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place in 11 Russian cities. On the lead-up to the global championship, football will become a unifying idea for the whole country. Celebrations in all the host cities will be attended by well-known athletes, prominent politicians and famous actors. They are all united in their love of football.
The land of discoveries
Russia is a place to make many discoveries. Each year historical, natural, architectural and cultural landmarks together with improving communications infrastructure are attracting more and more visitors. In 2015, the acclaimed masterpiece of world architecture and culture St. Petersburg was in the 17th spot in the Travellers' Choice Award rating of the world's best tourist destinations. Seven of the World Cup host cities – St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Sochi, and Nizhny Novgorod – are among Russia's top ten tourist destinations.
Everything for the fans
All of the preparation programmes and projects envision the football fan as the central figure of all activities. Visa requirement will be waived for game-ticket holders and fans will be provided with free transfers to the stadiums as well as a well-organised navigation system and fan zones where everyone will be able to watch the game broadcasts for free. Such fan zones will appear in many cities – from Russia's western borders to Siberia and the Far East.
The World Cup is a major challenge
for our country. We have to carry out
this project. 70% of Russia's citizens
will be involved with the World Cup
in one way or another.
Vitaly Mutko, Russia's Minister of Sport;
Chairman of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee
Legacy
The World Cup leaves a grand legacy to the host country. Such competitions serve their host countries for many years to come. Physical legacy is in the form of sophisticated stadiums that will later serve both the local clubs and international teams, as well as new roads, airports and hotels. The World Cup also serves as a catalyst for the growing interest in football and sport as a whole and is a great way to promote healthy lifestyle.
12

stadiums
113

training fields
20 000

volunteers
This is a tournament that propels coaching forward, serving as a platform for the exchange of ideas between professionals. It is an excellent starting ground for those who want to work in the area of sports management or volunteer work. It is a test of the most advanced management systems. Finally, the World Cup is a chance to demonstrate the hospitality, generosity and reliability of the fortunate host country to the world.
Reconstrction of the Central Stadium in Ekaterinburg ahead of the 2018 World Cup © Donat Sorokin/TASS
Football for everyone
Professional football clubs are a source of pride and a sacred institution for any city and region. They are also a stimulus for development of children's and youth sports.
Football is a simple game that can be played by anyone, with a ball, in a courtyard. This is truly the people's sport.
Igor Shuvalov,
First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia

In 2014, the "Leather Ball" tournament, which used to be an all-Soviet and now is an all-Russian affair, turned 50 years old. Each season 600,000 young football players, both boys and girls, playing for 40,000 teams from all over Russia, take part in this athletic event.

Everyone plays football in Russia. There are amateur teams, futsal games, beach football and girls' football. Everyone is playing the game: boys and girls, adults and retirees, people with disabilities, government officials, workers, and students. Each year dozens of football tournaments take place in Russia.

The World Cup will leave behind new infrastructure, ready for professional and amateur competitions, and a whole generation of teenagers who will have had an opportunity to see their idols and get a powerful motivation to play football.