KALININGRAD, June 21. /TASS/. Swiss national football team player Stephan Lichtsteiner has thanked Juventus fans from the Russian city of Kaliningrad for a warm welcome.
"A big thank you to Juventus Fan Club Kaliningrad for the nice welcome," Lichtsteiner wrote on Instagram, where he also posted a photo of fans welcoming him in front of a hotel.
Lichtsteiner played for Juventus Football Club from 2011 to June 2018. On June 5, he signed a contract with London’s Arsenal.
Juventus fans holding a Lichtsteiner poster came to the hotel to welcome the Swiss team but it had already checked in by that time. However, as a fan named Vadim told TASS, team staff saw the poster and called the player. "He gave autographs and took a photo with us, then he asked us to take a photo for him that he later posted on social media," the fan said.
Switzerland will play against Serbia at the Kaliningrad Arena on June 22. The stadium earlier hosted a Group D match in which Croatia defeated Nigeria 2-0.
2018 FIFA World Cup
Russia is holding its first ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on June 14. Apart from Moscow, the host cities include St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
Apart from the two above mentioned games, Kaliningrad will also host the Group B match between Spain and Morocco on June 25 and the Group G match between England and Belgium on June 28.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15. The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.