01 August, 2021

World Cup Diary

Moscow has become the melting pot of the world, a sliced diagonal cross section of humanity: a first-person account of a football aficionado currently witnessing the World Cup in Russia.

World Cup Diary
Korobka Is An Old Dance

Not known to many, Russia has always loved football, and behind the grim structures of the Soviet style housing blocks, lies a culture of street soccer, or ‘Korobka’. Some of my earlier walks through Moscow have taken me to these courtyards, where encapsulated amongst colourful graffiti, on cracked concrete pitches, both young and old play football. As I land into Sheremetyevo and exit the terminal into the fresh familiar cold arctic air, Roberto Carlos’s famous curling free kick against France hits me on my face. I look up to observe a gargantuan Hyundai advertisement endorsing the World Cup in Russia. Telstra 18 (the official ball for the cup) screams out to me—the blood of the Korobka has been spilled generously onto the streets of my favourite city. My pulse races with excitement, the next few weeks are going to be a celebration of the world’s biggest game in the world’s largest country.

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