Central Moscow was a revelation during the World Cup as fans mingled and danced their way through the night in Nikolskaya, a long shopping street that runs off Red Square.
Behaviour that wouldn’t be tolerated by authorities by local people was ignored. And thousands of Muscovites came to watch and take part.
Continue reading Knees-ups in Nikolskaya
These were good. Stumbled across them while wandering round Moscow.
Continue reading A game of two halves – football art, Moscow
The omens were promising: a 77-year-old German-Canadian in the hostel was attending his 12th consecutive World Cup.
He travelled to his second – Argentina in 1978 – by cargo boat. “I saw Scotland, they weren’t very good.”
Continue reading Nae more for Neymar – Belgium 2 Brazil 1
Some decent footage from the Senegal- Colombia game was ruined by the mic refusing to work, or just being rendered useless by the noise.
So, in effect, this is partly a silent movie – just tap your fingers along in what you think is the appropriate rhythm.
Continue reading Senegal v Colombia vid and accordion knees-up, Kazan
Leningrad wasn’t the only place named after Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov.
His birthplace, formerly Simbirsk, took its current name after he died in 1924.
Continue reading Ulyanovsk’s Lenin museums
Space city Samara served up a cosmic cracker – the best atmosphere I’ve experienced as a ‘neutral’.
This game almost veered into sci-fi – I was half expecting Chewbacca to come on as sub for Senegal.
It was part-gig, part-sport, part-fashion show, part-performance art, part-continental catastrophe, part-national holiday.
It was a screaming, shattering, hysterical assault on all senses from the get-go.
Continue reading Space, the final frontier – Colombia 1 Senegal 0
Guy in the middle was a bit of a header.
Volgograd’s fan fest is on the historic slopes of the River Volga.
Continue reading Fan Fest, Volgograd
Half-time in Volgograd, after possibly the dullest first 45 minutes of the tournament so far, was a low point.
“Forty-five minutes more of this and then the turkey ticket of Saudi v Arabia on Monday, no chance of selling that, and that could be my World Cup over,” I thought.
Continue reading Iceland run out of puffin: Nigeria 2 Iceland 0
The hostel boss thinks I look like Mickhail Gorbachev.
‘Nyet, nyet,’ I say. ‘Nepravilna (not true). ‘George Clooney!’
Continue reading A day out in Rostov: Brazil 1 Switzerland 1
Some of the best things in life are free and this was no exception.
Continue reading Kybok ‘n’ roll – FC Poltava 2 Karpaty Lviv 1
She nailed it. My pal Anya, 33, from Kyiv, first game ever, said after 85 minutes: “You guys need to practise scoring.”
Continue reading Gherkins and the Golden Boot – Ukraine 1 Wales 0