The Zero Hour is Here in Rus­sia

As host Rus­sia bat­tles S’Ara­bia in open­ing game in Moscow

THISDAY - - STARTERS -

The long wait for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is al­most over. All the 32 teams for this great­est foot­ball show­piece on the globe are here. We are just hours away from the of­fi­cial kick off of the Mun­dial…

The long wait for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is al­most over. All the 32 teams for this great­est foot­ball show­piece on the globe are here. We are just hours away from the of­fi­cial kick off of the Mun­dial when host Rus­sia takes on Saudi Ara­bia at the Luzh­niki Sta­dium in Moscow this even­ing.

All years of toil to get the fa­cil­i­ties ready to host the world have cul­mi­nated in the great spec­ta­cle, the foot­ball-lov­ing world is about to wit­ness. No other thing mat­ters to afi­ciona­dos of foot­ball now if it is not re­lated to the Beau­ti­ful Game.

Rus­sian roulette? Per­haps, a real stunt it might turn out for the hosts. Since 2008 when they launched their bid to host this edi­tion, their foot­ball was on the rise. They reached the semis stage of the 2008 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship be­fore bow­ing out. Not any­more.

They are the least ranked of all the 32 teams here and may be no hop­pers. But be­fore the real gla­di­a­tors take to the cen­tre to re­gal the world with fa­mil­iar skills, Rus­sia have the chance to show off with the Saudi team that is the sec­ond low­est ranked team here. The game may not present the best of foot­ball ex­pected at this sum­mer show, it will no doubt ser­e­nade fans at the Luzh­niki arena as these two min­nows bat­tle for the first three points of the 2018 World Cup.

The hosts have been ham­pered

Rus­sia

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