The day has arrived. Russia is kicking off a month of planetary football madness at its own World Cup. Over the next month, at office water coolers, cafes and family gatherings, we all get to be experts on France's choice of a 4-4-2 formation, the offside rule and the chances of the 32 nations present. Even if the hosts are not expected to lift the trophy on July 15, Russia's leader is already a winner. Just how much political hay can Vladimir Putin make from the tournament?
Produced by Daniel BARNEY, Alessandro XENOS, Van MEGUERDITCHIAN.
Columnist, The Guardian
Independent football agent
Editor-in-chief, Afrique magazine
International Affairs Commentator, France 24