Hosting the FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia has gone ahead and invited anyone who wants to be a part of the much awaited international football tournanment. The players and support staff imploring everyone interested to make the journey, as it will be quite an event to behold.
The World Cup begins on 14 June, carrying on till July 15, when the champions of the year will be crowned.
After years of hard work, the host nation is eagerly looking forward to welcoming football fans and competing teams. In fact, the Russian national team, coaching and support staff have taken it one step further: by donning the jerseys of every country competing this year - and posing for a squad photo.
This is the first time such an activity has been carried out in the world before the actual event and Russia, who have recently been cleared of allegations pertaining to doping, are ready to be at their sparkling best come the festival.
"We welcome all the teams who are coming here for the World Cup," said goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, wearing the shirt of reigning world champions Germany on the FIFA website. "I think they'll quickly be convinced that Russia is 100% ready for their arrival. Our country has staged plenty of major sporting events and important matches already. I hope every player, coach and fan enjoys Russia and its hospitality."
"I hope everyone likes Russia," added defender Sergei Ignashevich, who holds the all-time record for Sbornaya caps. "It's summer here, the weather is wonderful and the people are friendly. I'm sure you'll be happy."
Germany, the holders of the trophy from 2014 are again favourites to lift the Championship, while the likes of France, Spain, Brazil and England are set to be proper challengers. Meanwhile, with the World Cup set to begin, the teams have all put out their squads for the tournament, in what is expected to be an absolutely brilliant spectacle.