Putin’s World Cup dividends will be puny, say economists

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Russian Federation launched the World Cup in emphatic style on Thursday when they outclassed a feeble Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament's opening match to end a nine-month winless run and give the host nation's team and fans the lift they desperately needed.

"Before the match we were speaking about Russians being pessimistic", said Mourinho, RT's World Cup expert, in reference to the muted coverage of the national team before the opening match.

Saudi Arabia's footballers have been viciously torn apart by members of their own Royal Family after their humiliation in the opening game of the World Cup.

Putin and Infantino smiled and shrugged as they sat next to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the VIP box. I'm extremely happy that we have won but we shouldn't relax. He chipped the ball over two Saudi defenders in the 43rd minute and shot over goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf's right side to make it 2-0.

Artem Dzyuba was also on target a minute after coming on as a 70th-minute substitute and Aleksandr Golovin completed a memorable day by smashing in a free kick with the last action of the game.

The pair sang the pop star's worldwide hit "Angels".

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Speaking in Russian, Putin thanked Federation Internationale de Football Association for being "one big team" that has helped Russia prepare for the "most significant event in global sport".

The team entered the tournament without tasting victory in more than eight months. You of course get all the "official" news, line-ups for every match, a live blog so you can follow a play-by-play if you're not watching the actual match, watch video highlights afterwards, and learn more about the teams and each of the players.

Saudi Arabia may be brushing themselves down after the hammering they got from Russian Federation, however they still do have two matches left to play in Group A, and those matches will kick off starting with their match against Uruguay on the 20 of June. Egypt and Uruguay played overnight in Yekaterinburg.

"Several players will face a penalty".

Golovin kept a cleared corner alive and delivered a floated cross to the back post, with Gazinskiy exploiting slack Saudi marking to plant a firm header past Abdullah Al-Mayoof.

One concern for Russian Federation is that creative midfielder Alan Dzagoev picked up a suspected hamstring injury, but that was what allowed Cheryshev to come off the bench and change the game. "We did not show today what we have done in our previous games", Pizzi said.