A mural depicting Russian football coach Stanislav Cherchesov’s mustachioed features has undergone a series of physical transformations in the days after the Russian national team was knocked out of the World Cup over the weekend.
As the coach who led the Russian team to qualify for the knockout stages of the football tournament for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Cherchesov became the nation’s man of the hour.
Reflecting Russia’s newfound infatuation, a team of street artists spray-painted the mural of Cherchesov pointing a finger on a wall in central St. Petersburg. It included a caption with a lyric from a pop song dedicated in part to the coach reading: “You are amazing, Stas” in Russian.
However, vandals “cut” the tip of Cherchesov’s finger after Russia lost to Croatia on Saturday.
The original image reportedly offendedthe fans of St. Petersburg’s Zenit Football Club because Cherchesov’s fingers were interpreted to form the letter L, allegedly representing the Polish team Legia Warsaw that he had coached in 2016.