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towering gladiator statue tells russian soccer’s history


moscow (ap) — he towers over the crowds at moscow’s spartak stadium, a metal gladiator atop a vast football.the meaning of the 25-meter high monument outside one of russia’s confederations cup stadiums is rarely clear to foreign fans, even as they shoot selfies in front of the giant.some reckon he’s an ancient greek warrior while others have no clue at all.in fact, he represents the revolutionary history behind russia’s champion club, spartak moscow, and how it keeps an underdog mindset even when it’s on top.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.the club switched names repeatedly in the years following the russian revolution of 1917. seeking a name to stand the test of time, the club’s founders, the starostin brothers, and their friends looked for something that mixed r






towering gladiator statue tells russian soccer's history


moscow — he towers over the crowds at moscow's spartak stadium, a metal gladiator atop a vast football.the meaning of the 25-meter high monument outside one of russia's confederations cup stadiums is rarely clear to foreign fans, even as they shoot selfies in front of the giant.some reckon he's an ancient greek warrior while others have no clue at all.in fact, he represents the revolutionary history behind russia's champion club, spartak moscow, and how it keeps an underdog mindset even when it's on top.the club switched names repeatedly in the years following the russian revolution of 1917. seeking a name to stand the test of time, the club's founders, the starostin brothers, and their friends looked for something that mixed revolutionary ideals with fighting spirit.they found it 2,000 ye






roberto carlos: portugal, mexico & germany are the title contenders


the fifa confederations cup trophy is on a tour of the countries that will be fighting to hoist it aloft in russia on 2 july. after visiting australia and new zealand, it made a stop in portugal, the home of the reigning european champions, before setting off for the americas. during its stay in portugal, the trophy had a very special minder in the shape of former brazil star roberto carlos. the legendary former left-back played for a season for russian club anzhi makhachkala, where he also had a short spell as coach. though he believes russia will provide a very special atmosphere for the competition, he is undecided as to who he thinks will win it.fifa.com: you played in russia. can you tell us about the fans there?roberto carlos: they love their football. they adore it. i had the opport






catch a ride — and some art — at the moscow subway


moscow (ap) — hop on the moscow subway for an easy, safe and cheap way to travel around moscow during the confederations cup or next year’s world cup.and also catch some art.famous for its elegant and ample stations, the moscow subway is among the cleanest and most efficient in the world. opened in 1935, the system has 13 underground lines and 206 stations that crisscross the city, many of them decorated with frescoes, marble columns and ornate chandeliers.“it’s like visiting a museum,” marveled pablo zúñiga toro, a chilean tv journalist visiting russia to cover the confederations cup. “everything is so grandiose.”most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.taganskaya, komsomolskaya, novoslobodskaya and kievskaya, all along a circular line that marks the moscow city center, a






report: la galaxy’s interest in tigres star gignac quite real


moscow (ap) he’s their star player, but portugal would rather talk about anyone except cristiano ronaldo.on the day ronaldo was summoned to appear before a spanish judge on accusations of tax fraud, defender pepe and coach fernando santos tried to pretend the story simply didn’t exist.pepe waxed lyrical about a coach he’d worked with briefly 14 years ago. santos nattered about friendly phone calls with a player from his porto days.[ more: nufc linked with trio ]when they did have to discuss their star player, they kept it general. legal problems? ronaldo barely gives them a thought, they suggested.“cristiano is one more player who is completely motivated to help portugal as he has always done,” pepe said.“tomorrow we have a very important game with russia,” santos said with a pained expres






russia making progress on racism before world cup – report


moscow (ap) — russia has made progress fighting soccer racism ahead of next year’s world cup, but players, coaches and fans still risk abuse, a new report says.there were 89 racist and far-right incidents at russian games in the 2016-17 season, slightly below the two previous seasons, according to thursday’s report by european anti-discrimination group fare and russia-based sova.in one case, an african player complained of racist abuse by an opponent during a russian premier league game. in another case, a hardline fan group segregated part of a stadium for people of “slavic appearance,” the report alleges. fans of russian champion spartak moscow flew anti-semitic banners.the russian football union’s disciplinary committee, however, has said it didn’t detect a single racist incident in any






russia making progress on racism before world cup - report


moscow — russia has made progress fighting soccer racism ahead of next year's world cup, but players, coaches and fans still risk abuse, a new report says.there were 89 racist and far-right incidents at russian games in the 2016-17 season, slightly below the two previous seasons, according to thursday's report by european anti-discrimination group fare and russia-based sova.in one case, an african player complained of racist abuse by an opponent during a russian premier league game. in another case, a hardline fan group segregated part of a stadium for people of "slavic appearance," the report alleges. fans of russian champion spartak moscow flew anti-semitic banners.the russian football union's disciplinary committee, however, has said it didn't detect a single racist incident in any of t






from ukraine with love: postcards pay tribute to war dead


bridge, m . (ap) — most postcards carry a simple sentiment: wish you were here. but the cards anastasia taylor-lind and alisa sopova are mailing randomly to people around the globe convey a haunting message: wish this stranger was still alive.the pair hopes their postcards — each scribbled with the name of a victim of armed conflict in ukraine — will put a human face on war.“i wanted people to have a more personal experience with conflict,” said taylor-lind, a p ojournalist who was on ignment for national geog hic when inspiration struck in a post office in the middle of the war zone.fighting between ukrainian government troops and russia-backed separatists has killed more than 9,600 people in eastern ukraine since it began in 2014. ukraine filed a case against russia this month at the un