FC Rostov player Christian Noboa during an open training ahead of the Champions League group stage match against Bayern at Allianz Arena, Munich. (File)

Ecuadorian 'Tsar' of Russian Football Shares Expectations of FIFA 2018

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Christian Noboa, an Ecuadorian midfielder of FC Zenit in St. Petersburg has an almost 10-year career on the Russian team, which has ensured him the nickname Tsar. In an interview with Sputnik he shared his experience of beating FC Barcelona, living in Russia and what to expect from FIFA 2018.

“Russia was for me an unfamiliar country, but I still felt calm and comfortable here,” Noboa told Sputnik in an interview.

He further said that meeting his future wife, who is Russian, greatly helped him settle in the country, and his coaches were also very influential.

My everything ♥️😍💋 #cheche #Lukas @olganoboaromanova

A post shared by CRISTHIAN (@cristhian_noboa) on May 25, 2017 at 8:27am PDT

Talking about his most memorable moment in the last decade of playing football for Russia, he said that being the captain of the Kazan club Rubin and achieving victory over FC Barcelona were very special experiences.

“We showed that any team can defeat any opponent. It was an unforgettable experience,” Noboa said.

He further said that he would really like to play in the Spanish league if he ever gets a chance to do so but for now he enjoys being in Russia.

🤙🏽⚽️🥅💪🏾 @poloz_d

A post shared by CRISTHIAN (@cristhian_noboa) on Apr 26, 2017 at 4:40am PDT

In 2018 Russia will host the FIFA World Cup. In the South American qualifying classification, Ecuador is now just two points behind Argentina. Noboa said that it would be an amazing feeling coming to Russia to play with his native team.

“To come here with my team after having played here for almost 10 years, would be my dream come true. We hope to show ourselves well in the  four remaining matches that will be final for us. It will be difficult, but it all depends on us whether we can achieve participation in the World Cup in Russia,” he said.

He further spoke about the football fans in Russia and touched upon the subject of fan “aggression” that has been raised by the mainstream media on a number of occasions. 

According to Noboa he never experienced any serious aggression from Russian fans. 


“No doubt, I would advise people to come here. My wife and children will watch and support me in all matches; we have not had any problems to date. There were a couple of incidents without serious consequences, but, unfortunately, in all stadiums of the world, there are similar situations when a fanatic begins to ‘express a passion’ for football. But in general, Russian stadiums, always have a very high level of security measures,” the footballer said.

Russia will host the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2018, with the championship set to kick off on June 14 and continue through July 15. The cities of Moscow, Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Kazan, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Ekaterinburg will host the games.


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