Russian chess legend-turned-opposition figure Kasparov rejoices at Croatia's victory over Russia
Kasparov, a former world chess champion who has turned into one of the fiercest critics of the Russian government, apparently thought Russia's loss to Croatia in the last eight in Sochi was a good time to remind the world of himself and his controversial political beliefs.
"Bravo Hrvatska! I only wish the free world would show the same resilience fighting Putin's advances in the geopolitical field as the Croatians demonstrated on the football field!" Kasparov wrote.
Bravo Hrvatska! 🇭🇷 I only wish the free world would show the same resilience fighting Putin's advances in the geopolitical field as the Croatians demonstrated on the football field!— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) July 7, 2018
A divisive figure even among the Russian opposition, Kasparov stirred politics into sport even as the fans' shouts of "Russia!" sounded in the streets across the host country, united to celebrate Russia's rollercoaster ride and mourn its dignified loss in the penalty shootout.
For instance, former State Duma Deputy and prominent opposition leader Dmitry Gudkov congratulated the Russian squad with an "excellent play," noting that they "have made the impossible possible."
Former presidential hopeful Ksenia Sobchak also expressed her respect for the players, saying that she has been proud of the team. "I've never thought I would be so anxious!" she tweeted.