GENEVA, July 10. /TASS/. Brazil’s famous forward Ronaldo will be acting as an assistant during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg in over two-week time, FIFA said in its statement on Friday.
The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself, will be held on July 25 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg with a total of 208 nations having signed up for the participation in the event.
The actual draw for the five out of six football confederations will be controlled by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and Brazil’s striker Ronaldo will be one of his assistants during the ceremony.
"It’s a very special moment. There’s a lot of expectation for the teams, the fans and for the host nation. I can’t wait to be there and to see what happens," Ronaldo was quoted as saying on the official FIFA website.
"Organizing the World Cup is an opportunity for Russia to showcase its culture," the retired Brazilian footballer said. "I’m sure it will be a wonderful tournament, just like the previous ones."
Three days ago FIFA announced that world’s top-model and well-known philanthropist from Russia Natalia Vodianova and Russia’s TV presenter Dmitry Shepelev would run this month the show of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw.
Commenting on the privilege to present the show of the 2018 Preliminary Draw, the world's most prominent supermodel for the last 15 years said she was "very glad that the World Cup is finally coming to Russia."
"I am sure that on 25 July many football fans all over the world will be inspired not only to support their teams on the road to 2018, but will also enjoy learning more about my country," Vodianova said.
It will be for the first time in the history of World Cups, when all national teams registered for the Preliminary Draw. Russia as the hosting nation automatically qualified for the championship and therefore is not taking part in the preliminary competition.
The first major kick-start event of the 2018 World Cup will be held at the historic Konstantinovsky Palace, a stronghold of Russia’s rich culture located on the Gulf of Finland’s stunning shoreline. It used to serve in the 18th century as one of the residences of Russia’s imperial family.
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 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.