Moscow (PL) The tacit plan wished by the West to prevent the celebration of the Soccer World Cup in Russia was a failure as soon as the first chords of the inaugural ceremony in Luzhniki Stadium -where 32 teams of the world had an appointment- started to sound.
To make matters worse, the national team showed in the inaugural game a soccer match never seen in this country for high-level competitions, at least after the formation of the Russian Federation: five goals against Saudi Arabia.
Although the Saudis were not the best team in the tournament, there were much optimism during the organization of the World Cup, but predictions about the local team's potential were really pessimist.
One of the main slogans of the press and even some high-ranking politicians said: we already won by hosting the World Cup, but we can also win... experience.
The truth is that the first eight goals scored by the host squad, led by Stanislav Cherkesov, to ensure its exit from the qualifying round, became a historic achievement, dreamed by few in this nation.
No matter how far the Russian team can go, this will undoubtedly strength the success of this country against the struggle started by the West through at least three intentional maneuvers to spoil the competitive event.
The first was the case of the alleged poisoning of Serguei Skripal and his daughter Julia.
During more than three months of unfounded accusations, diplomatic actions and sanctions against Russia, London was unable to prove the presumed chemical attack against the former Russian military intelligence agent.
In fact, the last thing London wants to talk about now is precisely the Skripal case. Some media came to speculate that as soon as the World Cup ends, the whereabouts of the former Russian agent will be completely uncertain.
At the time and in the heat of the anti-Russian euphoria in the United Kingdom's parliament, the Foreign Minister of that country, Boris Jhonson, came to threaten the suspension of England's attendance at the World Cup.
Finally, he chose to allow English squad to participate, but the Foreign Office -like its colleagues in France, Poland, Denmark and other European nations- spent its time inventing another Russia, to which no one should travel.
Precisely, the fans from the mentioned countries were responsible for denying or rather denouncing the calumnies they heard about Russia when they were about to travel.
A second maneuver was to intensify the attacks of the western coalition led by the United States in Syria, including a greater support to the terrorist groups to create a new atmosphere of war tension in the south of the Levantine country.
The third action was an attempt at provocation to create a large-scale conflict in Donbass coal region. In fact, Kiev's authorities publicly declared that they intended to 'spoil' the sports tournament.
But the self-defense formations of Donetsk and Lugansk Republics launched several counter-offensives in late May and June that cooled off Kiev's ambitious military plans for a major offensive.
It is worth noting that Donbass is adjacent to the Russian region of Rostov-on-Don, whose capital is one of the 11 cities hosting the World Cup since June 14.
If the Western campaign's failure were measured in terms of the convening power achieved by Russia, we should refer to the fact that only Mexico brought to this country about 50,000 fans who move like a real green tide through Russian cities.
Many of the almost three million fans, not counting the tourists who simply come to enjoy the World Cup's atmosphere, were from Latin America, whose region brought teams from eight countries to compete for the round of 16.
Therefore, in the streets of Moscow, in St. Petersburg, in the southern spa of Sochi, in the beautiful Kazan, in the Republic of Tatarstan and in other regions, Spanish was heard more than any other language.
The fans from Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia and Panama became so popular among the Russians that many locals came to propose offers to acquire Mexican hats or other Latin American clothes.
We were told that the police could confiscate the mobiles, that we were coming to a concentration camp, to a country with dirty streets, with rough and rude people, but it has been the opposite. That would be several foreigners' opinion.
In fact, the West is scared by the evidence that Russia is establishing a record of organization, cleanliness, hospitality, attention of volunteers, preparation of cities to meet foreigners and safety conditions.
The uncovered defamatory campaign lead some politicians like Jhonson to change their rhetoric. What option do they have? Thousands of Englishmen who dared to travel to Russia can deny all those lies.
The head of British diplomacy published an article in The Sun, where he said that his country reinforced the work of its consulates in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, as well as organized mobile groups of diplomats for other cities.
In addition to the mentioned cities, the World Cup is also held in Kaliningrad, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don and Nizhny Novgorod.
Apart from the economic and political dividends that the celebration of the event will give Russia, the World Cup's success will reduce the Western countries' arguments to continue with their anti-Russian policy and sanctions against this nation.
Could a country with a population so hospitable and ready to attend and share with dozens of countries that came here to enjoy the world's best soccer threaten or wish an attack on other nations?
- Published in World