MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. Julian Draxler, the captain of Germany’s national team at the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, has thanked the tournament’s organizers and all Russian football fans.
Here is Draxler’s open letter made public on Friday:
"Dear Russian football fans! We have spent three weeks in this wonderful country and now as the Confederations Cup in Russia is coming to a close, we would like to say our sincere thanks. We are thankful for the perfect organization, for a lot of assistance and for the feeling of safety we have always had here. We would like to thank Russia’s organizing committee, all employees at the stadiums, in hotels and airports, all volunteers and, naturally, all of you, Russian football fans.
"The Confederations Cup is believed to be a benchmark run of the World Cup. After three weeks, we can say the following: Russia has successfully gone through this test. We have had a lot of meetings, on the beach in Sochi and during a visit to Kazan’s Kremlin. We, the players, liked very much the time we spent with Russian fans. I also know that Russia is vast and there are much more things to see here. Our visit this summer was confined to the cities of Sochi, Kazan and St. Petersburg but what we have already seen and experiences was inspiring.
"We played at stadiums boasting impressing architectural solutions. We enjoyed days on the Black Sea coast, the sun was always smiling on us. We could see how immense this country is, 48 times as big as ours. And we tried to make our contribution to the Russian-German relations beyond the four corner flags."
17,000 euro for children
"President of the German Football Association Reinhard Grindel and German football ambassador for diversity Thomas Hitzlsperger visited the Bosco House education center for children in Moscow," Draxler noted. "The existing football pitch will be restored at the expense of contributions worth 17,000 euro."
"The last days have become very special for me personally. For the first time, I let the German team as captain. Here, in Russia, our young team has really teamed up, with discipline and dedication. All the players have shown themselves in the best light, in the pitch and beyond it," he wrote.
"Our summer in Russia is coming to a close, with only the final match to be played in St. Petersburg. We are saying thanks, thanks and goodbye. And now we are looking forward to coming here again in 2018. Kind regards, Julian Draxler."
This year’s FIFA Confederations Cup is held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.
Initially, the participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup were hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.
The final match between Chile and Germany will take place in St. Petersburg on July 2.