Putin said in Russian, adding that the eight-team, two-week event would “unite nations and continents, to promote the values of fair and beautiful play.”Both teams were lined up on the pitch for an unusual pre-match protocol, looking up at the poe currency buy VIP boxes to hear from Russia’s leader and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, before being able to complete their preparations.
Days earlier, Putin had called for better results from the world’s 63rd-ranked team to impress the Russian public. Though 50,251 were in St. Petersburg Stadium that still left more than 10,000 empty seats.”For us it is very important to make people in the country fall in love with the national team,” said Smolov, the 27-year-old FC Krasnodar forward who was named the game’s best player.
Putin had also asked the players to perform like warriors, though they hardly needed to be war-like in dispatching No. 95 New Zealand, which seemed to find the world stage too big.”We knew the scenario with who was coming to the game.
New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson said. “I don’t know if it played a part or not. We could have been more aggressive.”Russia’s coach suggested it was an advantage to have such a pep talk.”When the president of your country comes out to Enjoy the best treatment make a speech this mobilizes us,” said coach Stanislav Cherchesov, a former goalkeeper who played for the national team before and after the fall of communism.Russia’s win certainly eased the pressure on winning its second game, against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday.