Tag Archives: russia

How Do You Say “Laser-gate” In Russian?

Fabio Capello has blamed Russia’s embarrassing exit from the 2014 World Cup on the meddlesome fan who akinfeev laserpointed a laser at keeper Igor Akinfeev’s face mere seconds before Islam Slimani headed the goal that sent Algeria to the next round. “You can see that in the footage,” Capello said after the game. “This is not an excuse – it is a fact.”

The laser incident isn’t the first time a fan has tried to hobble a player at this year’s tournament. Earlier this month, Ghanaian witch doctor Nana Kwaku Bonsam (aka Devil of Wednesday) claimed he placed a curse on Cristiano Ronaldo’s knee. Ronaldo started all three of Portugal’s games, but he played poorly and scored only one goal. That’s a fact. You can see it in the footage.

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Arshavin Shows Signs Of Life

After a year of mediocrity, Andrei Arshavin is approaching something close to top form.

In the fall of 2009, Andrei Arshavin had the world at his feet. His quadruple at Anfield, a goal-scoring feat that ultimately helped Manchester United more than it did Arsenal, was still recent history. He was quickly becoming one of the game’s most recognizable stars, just in time for the 2010 World Cup.

But Russia, coming off a hugely successful European Championships, didn’t qualify. They finished second in the same group as 2006 semi-finalists Germany, earning a straightforward-looking play-off against Slovenia. Russia won the home leg 2-1, but lost 1-0 in the return fixture; they were eliminated on away goals. Humiliatingly, they finished the second leg with only nine men.

In truth, Arshavin had begun to fade before that loss. “Maybe my game did not look so bad from the outside, but inside I felt that I was not a part of the team,” Arshavin said after the first leg in Moscow. Even then, he understood what failure to qualify would mean for himself and for his country: “To stay out means to be on the sidelines of football for a time”.

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