'Treated us like rock stars!' Man United awed by Russian fans welcoming British with blankets

While some may have expected heated exchanges between Russia's FC Rostov and Manchester United this week, it certainly wasn't the case. The Russian club left British supporters in awe of their outstanding welcome for the visiting supporters.

With Russia set to host the FIFA World Cup next year, the nation’s football fraternity will be under acute scrutiny in the run-up to the international tournament.

And followers of Russian Premier League side FC Rostov put their best foot forward with a warm reception for Manchester fans travelling to the Olimp-2 stadium for a Europa League first-leg tie on Thursday.

FC Rostov rolled out the welcome mat for their English counterparts prior to the Russian team’s hard-fought draw.

The chilly Man United supporters were handed blankets emblazoned with: “Gentlefan: Russian Warm Welcome" by a number of FC Rostov fans.

The Gentlefan initiative has been trumpeted on the official Man United website, with diehard Red Devils fans giving the people of Rostov the thumbs up.

“Everywhere we went, from bars to restaurants, we’d be greeted by people saying, ‘Welcome,’” one of United supporters told ManUtd.com.

“Then, as we arrived at the stadium, we were met by a welcoming committee who handed us blankets to help with the cold.”