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It will be amazing: ibra

MOSCOW: Former Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic said on Tuesday that Russia will be an "amazing" host country for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, starting June 14. "I think it will be amazing. It will be nice having a World Cup there. I think it will be amazing, just like every World Cup," Ibrahimovic said in an interview with FIFA. He added that the World Cup was "the biggest party in the world" and that he wanted to be at the tournament no matter where it is held. "I would not miss it," Ibrahimovic said. He also named his personal favourites able to win the upcoming World Cup. “I think Brazil, Spain, Germany, obviously Sweden. Argentina also, even if they don't want to speak about themselves as favourites: they are.”

MESSI-FEVER IN MOSCOW

BRONNITSY: Around 400 eager fans turned out at Argentina's World Cup base camp to catch a glimpse of Lionel Messi and his team-mates at an open training session. A particularly affectionate welcome was reserved for the Barcelona forward, as hordes of adoring young supporters chanted "Messi, Messi" on his way out for an hour-long practice on Monday. After several days of chilly temperatures in the Russian capital, overcast skies gave way to sunshine, with excited locals packing a temporary stand in Bronnitsy, southeast of Moscow, to follow the action. The odd Messi mask was spotted in the crowd, while others waved Barcelona flags, as well as those of Argentina.

NO DRIVING AHEAD OF WC

MOSCOW: Moscow authorities are pleading with locals not to drive in the run-up to Thursday's World Cup opening match to avoid causing gridlock in the city. The Russian capital of 12 million people is creaking at the seams as it starts receiving hundreds of thousands visitors for the month-long football final. Fans from the 32 participating nations will almost all either be based in Moscow or fly in and out of the sprawling and chronically congested megalopolis to the other 11 host venues. Moscow officials had insisted for months that they had planned everything out to make sure the city functioned like clockwork once the games begin. They sounded less confident on Tuesday. The city's transportation department said some of Moscow's busiest roads will have to be closed off to general traffic to make way for dignitaries arriving for the opening ceremony.

Brazilian disinterest

RIO DE JANEIRO: More than half of Brazilians have no interest in the World Cup in Russia, according to an opinion poll on Tuesday, despite the country's stellar history at the championship. 53% are treating the World Cup, which starts Thursday, with a giant shrug, the Datafolha poll found. That was up from 42% in January, possibly reflecting a steady diet of bad news about the economy, corruption scandals, and a truckers' strike that brought the country to a standstill for more than week in May. The respected pollsters reported that this was the most tepid build-up to a cup since the question was first posed in 1994. The least interested in the upcoming action in Russia were women (61%), people aged between 35 and 44 (57%), and those living in the south of the country (59%)

 
 
 
 
 

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