With just one week to go until the World Cup kicks off in Russia, the final preparations for the biggest football showpiece are well underway in 11 host cities which will welcome millions of fans during the month-long tournament.
Buildings in Samara have been decorated with football related graffiti depicting the world’s greatest players of the past. An image of a legendary Brazilian forward Manuel Francisco dos Santos, better known by his nickname Garrincha, has been painted on a multi-storied Samara building in memory of his fantastic performance at the 1962 World Cup, where Brazil clinched the coveted trophy.
Prominent Soviet and Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin has been drawn on another building in Samara while the city on the Volga river is getting ready for the global football festival.
Samara will host six World Cup games matches including four group stage games, round 16 match and a quarter-final.
Images of the world-renowned goalkeeper Yashin can be also found on the streets of the Russian Baltic seaport city of Kaliningrad where four World Cup games will be staged.
Former capital of East Prussia, Kaliningrad, has turned into a sports obsessed destination where portraits of football players are peeping out from every street corner.
Russia’s Igor Akinfeev, Jan Vertonghen of Belgium and Spain’s Sergio Ramos are among those who will welcome international guests from street wall murals.
Nizhny Novgorod which is located on the hills of the Volga River is buzzing with the World Cup spirit as well, as the city has been converted into a huge football fan zone.
World cup attributes including flags, banners and mascot statutes have been scattered around the region to immerse the city into a football frenzy that will penetrate the entire country for the next month.
Four group stage games and two knock-out matches will be held at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium which will fit in 45,000 fans for each game.
Hundreds of kilometres away, Moscow is gearing up for the biggest football spectacle which will kick off on June 14 with a game between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Last week, the Russian capital was illuminated with World Cup-themed installations to mark two weeks to go before the beginning of the highly-anticipated football tournament.
Colorful banners and flags with World Cup emblems have decorated the city which anticipates the arrival of millions of fans from around the globe who will take part in a breath-taking football carnival in Russia.