Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

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

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.