icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘Our matches were an event’ – Putin talks secret service football games in East Germany

‘Our matches were an event’ – Putin talks secret service football games in East Germany
In a World Cup year, Russian President Vladimir Putin has shared warm memories of playing friendly football games against East German counterparts during his time serving with the Soviet Union's KGB.

Putin was talking to journalist and television presenter Alexander Kondrashov during the latter’s candid documentary film on the Russian leader’s life, which includes topics such as his political start in St. Petersburg and serving in the KGB.

“Of course, there were people from the police there and state security services of Germany. It was an event – including football. And the German fellows played very professionally,” Putin told Kondrashov.

“In East Germany sport was very developed, it was cultivated. The East German athletes achieved remarkable success. It was obvious, everyone knows this,” he added.

Jens Maie, who served as part of the Ministry for State Security, also known as the ‘Stasi’, from 1983 to 1990 told Kondrashov that Putin was a very “ambitious” player who took his hobby seriously.

“All the members of the KGB, including Vladimir Putin, were purely amateur players, so they battled hard to ensure victory,” he remembered.

“Putin was a very ambitious player. Of course it was just a hobby, but they nevertheless took it seriously,” he added.

The Russian president recently marked 100 days until the Russia 2018 World Cup by appearing in a video with FIFA president Gianni Infantino The two practiced their keepie-uppie skills inside the Kremlin, with Putin completing the 100th touch with a header.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.