“At the end of the day, we all just love good football.”
According to the state-run Public Opinion Foundation pollster, after Russia, most home fans support Germany, Brazil and Spain, respectively.
Sergei, who wore a scarf decorated with the Russian flag, was waiting to watch his team play Turkey in its last match before the tournament kicks off. Unfortunately, good football did not lie in store. Lethargic and plodding, Russia failed to break down the Turkish squad, which on this occasion consisted of fresh-faced players gaining international playing experience.
Like Sergei, dozens of supporters milling about outside the stadium before the match were clad in Russian regalia, but bled the colors of other nations underneath.
Both Timur Sultanov, 10, and his father Kasym, 38, could barely contain their excitement over getting to see France play Peru on home soil. “We can’t wait,” Kasym said. “We’re rooting for both teams,” his son added, “because we love Antoine Griezmann” — of France — “and Jefferson Farfan” — of Peru, who plays club football for Lokomotiv Moscow. (Timur agreed to be quoted on the condition it was also noted that he plays for a rival club’s youth team: CSKA.)