FIFA World Cup 2018: Huge Fanfare at red square

Jun 15, 2018, 10:59 IST | Kashinath Bhattacharjee

Enthusiasts from all over the world descend upon Russian capital as football's biggest show kicks off

FIFA World Cup 2018: Huge Fanfare at red square
Fans pose with World Cup replica ahead of the opening match in Moscow yesterday. Pic/AFP

Football, finally, had invaded the historic Red Square! The inaugural day of the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup saw football fans from all over the world find their place at the city centre. Fans from Brazil to Belgium, from Argentina to Alemania (Germany in Spanish), crowded the historic place, with their guitars, flags, mandolins and hats, singing and dancing for hours expressing their joy of reaching the most spectacular single sport show on earth.

Colombian supporters were more colourful, wearing big hats and dressed in their jerseys with paint all over their body. Harold Rodriguez has come all the way here to see his hero James Rodriguez. "He was superb in Brazil. But I think he should have waited to sign for a big team like Real Madrid. He will again rock the World Cup," he said. Brazilian women were as colourful as ever in their official Samba colours.

They're simply happy to be at it again. They explained why Brazil is always different in terms of celebration: "Everywhere, people celebrate within the law. We tend to celebrate saying f*** the law!" Something only a Brazilian can say! Keep right Keep right! Sounds strange? But that's what people love to follow. You are standing in the escalator. The Metros have really long escalator-rides here. Sometimes 200 to 250 stairs. You have to stand on the right side to allow people to ahead from your left.

Smokers, beware
Interestingly, if you are a smoker walking through Moscow's streets, beware of the people coming straight at you! No, they aren't approaching you to teach you a lesson in anti-smoking.

Instead, they will ask: "Can you give me one?" This has been a culture since the Soviet-era here. Back in the day, tourists were regularly asked for cigarettes since its costs spiralled beyond the reach of the common people here. USSR has changed to Russia, but some of its custom have remained. Young or old, cab-drivers or a lay man on the footpath will simply bump into you and ask for a favour. Please oblige!

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