get Russia’s show off to a delirious
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Take that! On opening night in Moscow the World Cup turned a full-flush red, setting off like a train inside a periodically delirious Luzhniki Stadium. Every tournament needs a fully functioning host nation. The fear had been that an ageing, stagnant Russia team might bleed a little life from the World Cup right at the start. [Image: nike_titans_268.jpg]In the event it all went off like a dream. There was the required grimly magisterial speech from your host for the night, Mr Vladimir Putin. A commendably short opening ceremony played out like a homespun Saturday teatime TV oddity. And best of all a Russian team that had been written off by everyone with a biro and a scrap of paper to hand produced a powerful, convincing performance http://www.billsfootballofficialprostore.com/Authentic-Lorenzo-Alexander-Jersey en route to a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia. [Image: nike_chiefs_3278.jpg]This match had been dubbed El Gasico by some, a reference to the fact these two nations host between them a quarter of the world’s crude oil reserves. Perhaps something a bit darker – El Kalashniko? – might have been more apt given the distressingly tangled relations between these two Trevon Coley Authentic Jersey energy caliphates, who are currently the best of frenemies, convivial sponsors of opposing sides in the Syrian war. Here the power-play was on show for all to see, the stadium TV cameras cutting away mid-game to show shots of Putin and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman leaning in to swap gobbets of power gossip in the VIP cockpit. Lodged between them sat the slightly jarring figure of Gianni Infantino, the mouse who George Kittle Jerseyroared, an administrator who really must blink now and then and wonder Rakeem Nunez-Roches Authentic Jersey what exactly he’s doing here. Football does get itself into the strangest of places. On the pitch the star was http://www.officialoriolesshop.com/authentic-58-jeremy-hellickson-jersey.html Denis Cheryshev, Russia’s least Russian player, the perestroika kid who grew up in Spain, but who decorated this flag day in his nation’s sporting history with two brilliant goals. A few weeks ago Fifa produced a film showing Putin and Infantino doing keep-ups together inside the Kremlin. Even here the dark hand of the Putin alternative reality machine was felt, with talk that the president’s performance had been doctored by technicians to make his skills sicker, more convincing, less the usual middle-aged mess of toe‑pokes and shinners. As Russia drove Saudi Arabia back it was tempting to wonder if something similar had been enacted here, a Russia+1 filter placed over the pitch to make this team faster, more urgent, more redolent with flair. By the end Russia had scored five, stretched Saudi wide through Aleksandr Samedov and Aleksandr Golovin, and looked a thoroughly decent team, albeit against opponents whose green shirts graced this stage like a limp bag of spinach. It had just been that kind of day. In the hours before kick-off the concourses were thronging with drum-fondling Colombians, Mexicans in canary yellow sombreros, and of course the inevitable Peruvians, mass foot soldiers of this World Cup. As the heat began to gather we were treated to the sight of the Timothe Luwawu Jersey great Robbie Williams, sprinting out in his shiny http://www.broncosfootballofficialstore.com/Virgil_Green_Jerseyred suit, chest puffed, to serenade the world from a huge lime-green carpet. Eyebrows had been raised at the presence of one fifth of Take That! as a curtain raiser for the world’s greatest show. But as the final notes of the dreaded Angels rang out, as the dancers tumbled and sprinted in that opening ceremony way, there was a sense of authentic stadium-sport pomp about the whole thing, not to mention a note of necessary absurdity. http://chaoscrew.org/index.php?forum-showposts-14080
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