Russia unveils psychic cat ahead of Confederations Cup

18 June, 2017, 01:26 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel

THE Confederations Cup kicks off with a match that will be of great interest to Leeds United fans.

"The Confederations Cup gives us a taste of what to expect the following year with the World Cup", said Ronny Suarez, a soccer fan Hillsborough, New Jersey, rooting for Chile this year.

Xinhua identifies five things to look out for during the June 17-July 2 event, which will be played in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.

Russian Federation cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over New Zealand as the hosts made a confident start to the Confederations Cup.

The Krestovsky Stadium has been mired in scandal, taking over a decade to build at an estimated cost of $800 million, amid allegations of corruption. Russia's best ever performance at a major tournament is reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA European Championship in 2008 and their recent results involve four friendlies - a 2-0 loss to Ivory Coast, a 3-3 draw against Belgium, a 3-0 win against Hungary and a 1-1 draw with Chile.

"Let us hope that the guys will try to perform well, like real fighters", Putin said.

"The infrastructure, hotels, transportation systems - everything's ready".

"The Confederations Cup is the champions' tournament".

Stacked against Mexico is Portugal's star player Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the first player in FIFA history to win The Best FIFA Men's Player Award, "the highest individual player award in world [soccer]" according to FIFA.

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But for Australia, the Confederations Cup is both a means to an end and a worthy competition in its own right.

"It is the experience and knowledge that will be of enormous value for 2018". Portugal and Mexico are other teams in Group A and will face-off on Sunday, June 18.

"As much as 44,000 tickets have been sold for the opening match in St Petersburg with 24 hours remaining before the kick-off", Samoura added.

Over the past five years, there have been numerous incidents of racism during matches in Russian Federation. Fabio Capello's hugely-expensive reign as manager proved disastrous, and Leonid Slutsky's attempts to revive the team at Euro 2016 failed miserably: Russian Federation claimed just one point in the group stage before being eliminated to the backdrop of negative headlines about their rioting fans.

Experienced goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov believes Russian Federation are ready to make their mark in a group that also includes Portugal and Mexico, stating they "are ready to fight".

The city of Sochi released a statement insisting the parade was a "celebration of the different continents and a testimony of Russia's open attitude".

For Russia, it's a chance to fine-tune ahead of hosting sport's biggest show next year.

A 34-page report, entitled "Red Card: Exploitation of Construction Workers on World Cup Sites in Russia", alleges that workers on six World Cup stadium construction sites faced unpaid wages either in full or part.

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