Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Our global community of volunteers work hard every day to bring you the world's underreported stories -- but we can't do it without your help. Support our editors, technology, and advocacy campaigns with a donation to Global Voices!

Donate now

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Russians Amused by National Team World Cup Performance

"Welcome, Sir": a Russian goalie's mistake. Anonymous image found online.

“Welcome, Sir”: a Russian goalie's mistake. Anonymous image found online.

Ahead of an important match with Group H leader Belgium tomorrow, and after a 1:1 tie with South Korea last Tuesday, the Russian national soccer team is probably questioning its chances of making it to the playoffs. And so are the Russian fans. The tie was largely due to a crucial mistake by Russian goalie Akinfeev, who got a fair amount of flack for it on Twitter. In fact, RuNet users were on the whole uncharitable toward their team, criticizing them for a poor performance and a boring game.

Twitter funnyman duo KermlinRussia was at the top of their game during the match:

The first half is over. The only dangerous moment I can remember was when I imagined that instead of Korea we are playing the German team.

As usual, Kermlin veered into politics:

 If we were playing North Korea, it would be a battle of two superpowers. Right now, who cares who we are playing against.

Another Twitter user made a reference to the Winter Olympics and the South Korean speed skater who won several gold medals competing for Russia:

I hope Victor An had time to talk to the Koreans and explain to them that they are also potential Russians.

"Hook-hands." Anonymous image found online.

“Hook-hands.” Anonymous image found online.

Soon after Akinfeev barely missed stopping a Korean goal, Russia's veteran player Kerzhakov managed to even the score. Russian Twitter was still not appeased, however:

Kerzhakov finally got close enough to the goal, so that it was impossible to miss, and scored.

Continuing with a political theme, “Joseph Stalin's” Twitter account referred to a Soviet-era practice of counting one year of labor camp prison sentences for two, in return for good behavior, (a tone deaf joke, perhaps, if one remembers the North Korean national soccer team who were reportedly punished after a series of humiliating losses during the 2010 World Cup):

 Kerzhakov's goal [note: in Russian "god" is "year" while "gol" is "goal", ed.] should count for two!

One blogger lambasted both teams:

Мда, досмотрел я все-таки это позорище. Своя изюминка и здесь, впрочем, была – ее придавали корейцы. Дело в том, что, как оказалось, сб. Южной Кореи – просто совершеннейший брат-близнец нашим! Такие же нелепые, неумелые, робкие и тупые до изумления игроки. Создавалось порой полное впечатление, что сборная России играет сама с собой.

Yeah, so I finished watching this travesty. There was an interesting detail — it was provided by the Koreans. It appears that the South Korean team is a complete twin of ours! The same kind of awkward, unskilled, timid and remarkably stupid players. Sometimes there was a complete illusion that the Russian team was playing itself.

Not all of the political jokes were at the expense of the Russia-South Korea match. This meme, using Russia's head propagandist Dmitry Kiselev, made fun of his coverage of Ukraine, playing off of the Mexico-Brazil uniform colors (red and black for the Right Sector, yellow and blue for the Ukrainian flag):

Anonymous image found online. The caption reads: During the World Cup in Brazil a team of Banderovtsy could not win against the national team of the Right Sector.

Anonymous image found online. The caption reads: “During the World Cup in Brazil a team of Banderovtsy could not overcome the national team of the Right Sector.”

After the late-night broadcast of the Russia-South Korea match was over, and it became clear that Russia would have to win against the daunting Belgium to have a good chance at advancing, some reacted predictably, if a bit tongue in cheek:

The dawn nears. I'm going to go turn over Korean cars on my street.

The next few days and Spain's unexpected loss to Chile brought some much needed solace, however:

Everyone is on the Russian team's case, but the real horror is the performance by a team that consists of Real Madrid and Barcelona players.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site