Young Russian footballers taking part in an exhibition match at Moscowâ€™s Football Park on Red Square Thursday had the chance to show-off their skills in front of FIFA Legends as well as FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
Iker Casillas, Lothar MatthÃ¤us, Ronaldo and Carles Puyol starred for the FIFA Legends and they were joined by Russian legends Alexey Smertin and Dmitry Bulykin. The local youth were selected from FC Totem whose players are alumni of the Childrenâ€™s Home No. 1 in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk. The club was founded by LOC CEO, Aleksey Sorokin, who was also in attendance along with LOC Chairman, Arkady Dvorkovich.
The two Presidents kicked off the match, having earlier taken a tour of the Football Park, which features a number of highlights including the FIFA World Cup Winner’s Trophy on display in the pavilion.
â€œThis is the heart of Russia and for these months it is the heart of the world and the world of football,â€ said the FIFA President.
â€œThe whole world is watching and seeing Russia and what a fantastic party and celebration weâ€™re having here. It has been an unbelievable celebration, with great matches and perfect organisation in a hospitable country. You walk around the cities and you can see men, women, boys and girls with shirts from different countries celebrating together. Thatâ€™s football.â€
The match was officiated by professional Russian referee Mikhail Vilkov. Russia 2018 Mascot Zabivaka was on hand to help entertain the 200 or so spectators.
The players had the chance to take photos with the high-profile guests while also trying to shoot past the fastest goalie in the world – Robokeeper!