Support The Moscow Times!

Let the World Cup 2018 (Memes) Begin!

Twitter @HeMerciHein

The World Cup 2018 is still months away but the fun kicked off on Tuesday, when FIFA revealed the official poster for the tournament, which Russia will host.

The retro poster, featuring Soviet goalkeeper Lev Yashin, “is a true reflection of Russia’s artistic and football heritage,” FIFA’s Secretary General Fatma Samoura said.

Russia’s deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, in turn, predicted the image would become “one of the most memorable symbols” of the World Cup. “I’m sure […] fans and participants alike will approve of it,” he was cited as saying.

Mutko, of course, was speaking from the heart, but some internet users had their doubts. You can’t win them all. 

Here are some of the best reactions:

President or World Cup mascot? If your name is Vladimir Putin, you don’t have to choose...

As this user notes, there’s a cloud hanging over Russian sport.

Chocolate, anyone?

Not because it's related to football in anyway. Just because.

They said he could be anything, so he became a butterfly ...

Easy enough to miss, but Crimea, Russian officials’ pride ever since Moscow annexed the peninsula in March 2014, didn’t make it on the map.

This poster is soooo 1930. Let’s see what Diego Forlan thinks when he arrives for Friday’s World Cup Draw.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.