How was/is Russia?

Discussion in 'World Cup 2018 - Russia' started by MobileBama, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. MobileBama

    MobileBama Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    Mobile, AL
    Club:
    Charlton Athletic FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For those that went or are still there, how was your experience? Curious to hear some firsthand reports. Really was looking forward to making the trip had the US made it. Would love to visit Russia some time

    Thanks for taking your time to reply!
     
  2. Jamooky

    Jamooky Member+

    Mar 24, 2006
    Cleveland, OH USA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Guess no one went - or they're all still there?
     
  3. Kookla

    Kookla New Member

    Bayern München
    Apr 4, 2018
    Australia
    Nat'l Team:
    Russia
    Hey there!
    I am Russian, so may not be that objective, but haven't been in Russia for 13 years, so it was a very interesting experience.

    From my point of view (which may be a tad subjective) it was great! I only went to Moscow and Sochi, however, atmosphere in both cities was amazing. From what I saw and was told by some foreigners that i met, it was a very welcoming experience. I also noticed that police were pretty lenient towards tourists, for example, when they were smoking in the no smoking area and didn't even bother giving warning/issuing a fine. In Moscow in the shops, at train stations, etc people were doing their best speaking in English to foreigners etc, which was very nice to see.
     
  4. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    Just back from Moscow, SP & Sochi and certainly a very positive experience. I liked the way the locals worked hard and were very efficient. Looking at their faces at the Mexico Germany games and the Metro they looked a bit bemused at the beginning as to what was happening but certainly joined in with the help of their national team.

    I did like the fact so many bought WC shirts of all types and not like the Brazillians who wore the yellow national shirt or nothing. The food in the cities we went to also impressed me. Not sure I heard a lot of English in Moscow and certainly not Sochi but plenty in SP but none of this is a criticism. I learnt 100+ words/phrases and though my pronunciation may not have been perfect they often behaved as though they had never heard a foreigner try to speak some Russian by either looking blank of laughing (in a friendly way).

    Personally i was more relaxed going for personal safety than in SA or Brazil and the security forces were pretty low key. Yes after a game there was always a long line of them but nothing too serious. having said that very surprised that after the Sweden v Switzerland game there there were loads dressed in Riot gear! Why?!

    Only things I did not like and this is not the Russian fault but the human race that too many people just get pissed and waste the day. Also the amount of people taking endless photos of themselves is so depressing and wish I had set aside time to take photos of the endlessly preening and pouting females.
     
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  5. playedwinger

    playedwinger Member

    Manchester United
    Brazil
    May 11, 2018
    The rest of the comment was good, but, bro, get a gf...they are nice in so many ways. Preening, 'selfing' and pouting are just side effects, ;)
     
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  6. flipper21

    flipper21 Member

    Barcelona
    Brazil
    Oct 9, 2017
    Ended on the 6th of July for me. But Russia between the 19th of June and 5th of July was pretty great. Caught six games in five stadiums across four cities. The people were friendly and helpful, the atmosphere was amazing for the groupstages but started to decline towards the knock-out stages.

    The stadiums were great, caught Por v Mor at Luzhniki and atmosphere was very good. Got to see Messi score against Nigeria and my beloved Brazil score in the 90th against Costa Rica. Sad to see us go out to Belgium, but that is footblal, no matter how much you create or how much better you are than the other side, football is about details and putting the ball in the back of the net.

    The only downside with this whole trip was the fact that it was probably the only country I've been too where the ratio of people speaking english was less than one in ten thousand. Never imagined it to be worse than in Brazil. Also, country where service at restaurants and cafés was at it's worst. The way main courses would come before starters and food would come out at different times, so some would have finished eating before others got their food was really weird.

    With that said, loved Russia and especially Moscow and really enjoyed St P, Kazan and Samara. Took night trains, flights and metros and all worked very very well. Shame it's all over and it's back to normal life. Qatar has a lot of work to do if they're going to have the World Cup in the tiny country, a lot of hotels need to be built for it to work.
     
  7. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    Interesting about the restaurants and wonder if people experiences will vary greatly from those that went to Moscow, SP. Sochi etc. and those who went elsewhere as we were in the more touristy bit and I was very impressed with food and service almost everywhere we went. I expected little English but was equally surprised how little was spoken even by the younger generation as if they were forbidden to learn it. (obviously not).

    There was great symbolism as we went up the escalators with noisy Mexicans and on the other side coming down were bewildered and shocked Moscovites.
     
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  8. flipper21

    flipper21 Member

    Barcelona
    Brazil
    Oct 9, 2017
    Service wise Moscow was probably the best for us (was in Samara, Kazan and St P as well), but still felt it to be quite poor and this in some of the recognized and most expensive restaurants around town as well. I mean they were all kind and helpful, it just felt like they had never worked in service before. Starters coming out at the same time or even after main coruses at some point. Some finishing their main course before others even got theirs. Plates trying to be taken away while still eating. Luckily this little thing was also the only negative thing along with the total lack of English that I saw in Russia. Overall I was amazed and loved almost every bit of it.
     
  9. Pascal F

    Pascal F Member

    May 30, 2018
    This was by far the best World Cup I've ever attended.
    You could see that Russian government had a point to prove and they did it in style if you ask me. Never felt unsafe or uncomfortable, not even close.

    I'll write some random thoughts in no particular order.

    I speak some Russian. It's similar to my language and most importantly I can read it but I also did take some time to learn the basics and it helped a lot. I've learned during my travels that people really appreciate when you try to speak their language, no matter how good/bad you are at it. I would often start in Russian and when we got to a sentence I didn't understand they would switch to English and do their best to explain.
    I talked to a lot of young Russians who speak good English, asked them about this and all of them said the same thing. Their TV is all dubbed like in many other countries so you can't really hear English in everyday life and more importantly their school system is bad when it comes to foreign languages, teachers/professors at every level are awful and that is the main issue. They do have English in school though and most of them can speak/understand more than they think they can so it's all about them being shy/uncomfortable to even try.

    Haven't had any of the issues described above with the service but I can't say I'm very surprised. Most places needed to hire additional staff for the duration of the tournament and those were probably not well trained. Heard from a bar owner in Nikolskaya that they were selling 10 times the amount of alcohol they normally sell (it's a very busy place even without the WC) and were all shocked by it.

    Gotta go now, I will write more later.
     
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  10. gallis1

    gallis1 Member

    Sep 23, 2004
    USA
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    Russia was awesome! Friendly people, great food, awesome stadiums and transportation. Everyone has football fever and it was awesome to see the Russian people, the entire country behind their team. I arrived in Moscow the day Russia played and beat Spain. I watched the game with Russians in Red Square. The win led to my most memorable experience in Russia. The entire city of Moscow was out in the streets celebrating and partying. I could not have had a better welcome to Russia than that!
     
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  11. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    It certainly helped that Russia did well in the tournament. had they lost to Saudi in the first game interest could well have disappeared.

    One thing that I did like was that Russians bought in to the tournament and so many bought World Cup and not just Russia shirts. Without taking this as a dig against Brazilians it was completely the opposite 4 years earlier and to be fair in 2006 German fans went to games just wearing German shirts.
     
  12. Fevernova99

    Fevernova99 Member

    May 3, 2003
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Just a big thank you to the volunteers who helped all of us out at the tourney, it was wonderful to have so many who were willing to help out!!!

    Wonderful to see so many young russians joining in the fun and atmosphere! Enjoyed seeing the central Asian fans around the stadium and fanfest waving their flags. Loads of Chinese fans coming thru the sponsors and some Indian fans as well. Its good to see new groups of fans sharing the World Cup experience!

    I return to the US knowing STP and Moscow are wonderful cities full of great attractions and good people. It's always good to interact and see how we share many similarities in our day to day lives (same music, movies, food etc)
     
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  13. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    I agree with everything except I have to say it was frustrating to see all Chinese people had to support either the previous winners or Ronaldo/Messi. No one else was of interest. Still I should imagine they are already queuing up round the block for the French shirt as we write.

    The WC is not about a few top players as was particularly well illustrated this time.
     
  14. Pascal F

    Pascal F Member

    May 30, 2018
    Try to see it from their perspective though, they can only support what they know and are able to watch. I'm pretty sure their TV doesn't show Senegal- Gambia or Costa Rica - Panama classics.

    I'm not a fan of Chinese tourists in general because they tend to always come in big groups and they rarely obey the rules but I must say I haven't seen any of that typical behaviour in Russia. Actually met a few of them on the train and they were pretty cool and they knew a lot about top level football.
     
  15. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    I bet they see quite a lot of Champions League and Premier League and there are many players to choose from but see Portugal they all only had Ronaldo in the shirts, the same with Argentina and Messi and as for team shirts I only saw Germany and nothing else. I don't see Senegal play but I certainly supported them in my 2002 shirt. Anyway I supporting the underdog is always a strange British quirk. Where as many just go for winners. Well winners before this tournament anyway.
     
  16. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    On a somewhat different note did anyone else see in the official Programme the picture of the German team after they had won the last Final and according to the programme it was the Netherlands they beat in that game. Well done FIFA another winner.
     
  17. popularside

    popularside Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    dublin
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    In general the Europeans failed to show up.

    The numbers in the regular seats from China and the Indian subcontinent were staggering. Also those in hospitality from China. FIFA will have taken note. Many appear to have been Messi and Ronaldo fans as opposed to fans of a particular country.

    Each to their own I suppose.

    Anyway I found Russia to be amazing. They were fantastic hosts.
     
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  18. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    How many games did you squeeze in this time?
     
  19. Steve Page

    Steve Page Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    FIFA will have taken note that the European fans didn't turn up. They will want to reverse that.
     
  20. Pascal F

    Pascal F Member

    May 30, 2018
    FIFA only cares about one thing and that's American Dollars, not fans.
     
  21. Steve Page

    Steve Page Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Fans = dollars. The more people want to attend the higher they can push prices.
     
  22. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    Not sure that they will be that fussed, who turns up, with the grounds 95%+ full in Russia.
     
  23. Ric_Braz

    Ric_Braz Member+

    May 13, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK.
    Club:
    AFC Wimbledon
    Yes but they decide the ticket prices long before they know who is going. Looking at the difference between the prices in 2002 and 16 years later they have not gone up that much in reality.
     
  24. Pascal F

    Pascal F Member

    May 30, 2018
    But was it a problem this year because they got Chinese instead of European money?
    I don't think it was.

    As Ric_Braz said, stadiums were 95% full so they have no reason to believe anything was wrong. No matter how high the prices will be in 2022 attendance will still be 90+ percent, unfortunately.
     
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  25. popularside

    popularside Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    dublin
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    16 in 8 venues in 7 cities.
     

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