“We welcome all the teams who are coming here for the World Cup,” said goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, wearing the shirt of reigning world champions Germany. “I think they’ll quickly be convinced that Russia is 100% ready for their arrival. Our country has staged plenty of major sporting events and important matches already. I hope every player, coach and fan enjoys Russia and its hospitality.”

“I hope everyone likes Russia,” added defender Sergei Ignashevich, who holds the all-time record for Sbornaya caps. “It’s summer here, the weather is wonderful and the people are friendly. I’m sure you’ll be happy.”

Supporters from all over the world will soon be able to properly appreciate the warmth of Russian people, as there is only three weeks left until the Opening Match of the 2018 World Cup between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium!

It is time for the last remaining preparations before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, as players work to get themselves into top shape and coaches finalise their starting line-ups. Meanwhile, the fans lucky enough to get tickets are planning their journeys and the organisers are applying the finishing touches to the tournament.

After years of hard work, the Host Nation is eagerly looking forward to welcoming football fans and competing teams. In fact, the Russian national team, coaching and support staff have taken it one step further: by donning the jerseys of every country competing at Russia 2018 – and posing for a squad photo.

The Sbornaya turned up for training earlier than usual and upon arrival they were greeted by 32 jerseys from around the globe hanging in their locker room. They duly obliged – putting them on, exchanging jokes and taking the obligatory selfies. Who got to wear the Russia shirt? It was, of course, the boss – coach Stanislav Cherchesov.​