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Meet Nigeria’s World Cup host cities - FCNaija

World Cup 2018 By: Lolade Adewuyi | 02/12/2017

After Friday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup final draws that pitched Nigeria in Group D alongside perennial opponents Argentina, Croatia and debutants Iceland, the cities where the matches will be played have also emerged.

The cities that will play host to the Super Eagles are Kaliningrad, Volgograd and Saint Petersburg.

Nigeria will open their campaign against Croatia on June 16 at the Kaliningrad Stadium in the city of Kaliningrad. The three-time African champions will then fly to Volgograd to face Iceland on June 22 at the Volgograd Arena.

Their final Group D game will come up against Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26.

Below’s a brief profile of the World Cup host cities:

Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad is Russia’s westernmost city. Located 1235 km east of Moscow and situated on the beautiful Baltic Sea, the city, its people and its architecture are a historical mixture of cultures in this distinctive Russian enclave facing west. As the hometown of philosopher Immanuel Kant, the city is alive with iconic structures such as the King’s Gate, the Kant monument, Konigsberg Cathedral and Kneiphof Island.

Kaliningrad passed through the hands of Prussia, Poland and Germany before becoming a Soviet territory after the Second World War. Formerly known as Konigsberg, it was renamed after Mikhail Kalin, one of the original members of the Bolshevik revolutionaries.

Nigeria fans will find a city rich with history and art when the World Cup rolls around in June when the Super Eagles open their campaign against Croatia. However, it will be chilly and windy during the month of June with average temperatures being around 20 degrees Celsius. The city has two airports and flights can be connected from Moscow as well as trains from across the country.

 
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Volgograd

Famous for its World War Two monuments, Volgograd’s most famous landmark is the Motherland Calls statue that stands at 85metres and was the tallest statue in the world when it was unveiled in 1967. Built in commemoration of the bloody Battle of Stalingrad, it remains the tallest statue in Europe today as well as the tallest statue of a woman in the world.

Volgograd is located between the Volga and Don rivers and is the hometown of Russian Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva. The city is served by an international airport and Nigeria fans will be able to fly in from Moscow during the World Cup or travel by train as well as by bus to the city.

Temperatures in June will be in the range of 26 degrees Celsius, the warmest of the three cities where Nigeria will play their group matches. The Super Eagles take on Iceland in Volgograd on June 22, 2018.

 

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is the most famous of the three cities where Nigeria will play due to its importance in international football. Zenit is a big club that plays in the UEFA Champions League and plays in this city, Russia’s second largest. The city is very close to Finland.

Nigeria will play their final Group D game against Argentina at the Zenit Arena, Saint Petersburg Stadium, on June 26, 2018, in what could prove to be a very important clash unless the Super Eagles tie up their qualification early.

Saint Petersburg is very important in European civilisation due to its place in the culture and arts. Its famous museums and writers have been a part of world history and it continues to set the pace for the rest of Russia. It is the hometown of President Vladimir Putin and many of his inner caucus who are referred to as the Saint Petersburg clique.

The Pulkovo Airport will be the destination for many Nigeria fans who will also be able to travel via trains and buses into the city. Expect temperatures to be around 20 degrees in the summer of 2018.
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