‘Mustache of Hope’ and traditional headwear: World Cup fever sweeps Russian football fans

7 Jul, 2018 14:10
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/ Sputnik

The FIFA World Cup in Russia has propelled the host nation’s fans into a state of jubilation since their team did the impossible by advancing to the quarter-finals. RT explores what it’s like to celebrate success, Russian-style.

Russia made the final eight of the tournament, exceeding all expectations and knocking out previous winners Spain in the process. The stunning victory made cities and towns all across Russia explode with joy as fans partied all night long on July 1.

Heroic goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev’s left leg became known to Russians as the ‘Leg of God,’ as he used it to pull off a dramatic save during the penalty shootout against the Spaniards.

The team’s head coach Stanislav Cherchesov is also receiving a lot of praise. Aside from his coaching skills, he may well be one of the most reserved managers out there in terms of emotions. Even when his team progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, he remained remarkably calm – celebrating only with a hint of a smile and clenched fists as a sign of triumph.

Cherchesov’s signature mustache has also become a meme, or rather a talisman, since Russians dubbed it the ‘Mustache of Hope.’ Fans are toting fake Cherchesov-style mustaches both to bring good luck and as a way of showing appreciation for the manager’s achievements.

READ MORE: Stanislav Cherchesov: The mastermind behind Russia’s unlikely World Cup run

Another sure way to spot a Russian fan – even if he or she is not donning the national white, blue and red colors – is to look for a ‘kokoshnik,’ the traditional Russian arch-shaped headwear. Prior to the World Cup, it was typically worn by women, but during the games some Russian men put it on as well.