Reuters Soccer Blog

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Reuters Soccer Blog goes to Moscow


This time last year I blogged from the Champions League final in Athens, mainly about the oddly circuitous routes taken by Liverpool fans just to get there.

My plan was to do the same from Moscow, but so far fans are pretty thin on the ground. With hotel prices starting at about 800 euros a night, it seems the vast majority of fans are going to come in on the day and fly back pretty much as soon as the game is finished.

At Red Square this morning there was a longish queue to get up close and personal with the trophy itself (or perhaps a replica, who knows…) but so far there’s none of the loud and beery atmosphere of Istanbul or Athens. Even the GUM department store on Red Square was empty, with the Manchester United shirts on sale at 3,150 roubles a pop not finding any buyers.

One story doing the rounds here is that the stadium might not even be full for the final. As a Russian friend put it: “Why would we want to go out to watch a match between two English teams at midnight?”