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National teams arrive in Russia ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup

June 07, 23:05 UTC+3 KRASNODAR

A plane carrying players and coaches of Spain’s national team landed in the Southern Russian city of Krasnodar, while Panama's squad arrived at the Volga area city of Saransk

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Nacho (left) and Cesar Azpilicueta Tanco (right) of Spain's national football team welcomed at the Krasnodar airport

Nacho (left) and Cesar Azpilicueta Tanco (right) of Spain's national football team welcomed at the Krasnodar airport

© Yevgeny Reznik/TASS

KRASNODAR, June 7. /TASS/. National teams of Panama and Spain arrived in Russia on Thursday ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

A plane carrying players and coaches of Spain’s national team landed in the Southern Russian city of Krasnodar, where they will live and train at world-class facilities owned by Russia’s Krasnodar FC.

Dozens of people gathered outside the Krasnodar airport to greet Spanish players, chanting their names and football slogans. Passing-by cars honked when the Spanish team was walking out of the terminal.

During the official part of the ceremony, the guests from Spain were greeted with folk songs and a traditional Russian welcome custom, ‘Bread and Salt.’

City Mayor Yevgeny Pervyshov wished the Spanish team "outstanding goals, beautiful victories and, of course, good impressions."

"I’m sure that you have already felt how pleased our city is to welcome you. We are proud that such a team has selected Krasnodar. You have chosen a great sports base and one of the best football stadiums in Europe," the mayor said.

On June 9, the Spanish team will hold its last friendly in the run-up to the World Cup, against Tunisia.

The Spanish team, winners of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, will play in Group B, against Portugal (June 15, Sochi), Iran (June 20, Kazan) and Morocco (June 25, Kaliningrad).

Earlier in the day, Panama’s national football team arrived in Russia’s Volga area city of Saransk. During the World Cup, the team will be based at the city’s Olympic Training Center.

Panama will face Belgium (June 18, Sochi), England (June 24, Nizhny Novgorod) and Tunisia (June 28, Saransk) in the tournament’s group stage.

Iran’s national squad was the first to arrive in Russia on Tuesday to take part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off next Thursday with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.

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