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Iceland’s ex-forward Gudjohnsen: FIFA World Cup to help Russia raise its football level

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15

ROSTOV-ON-DON, April 1. /TASS/. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be a good opportunity for Russia’s national football team to raise its level, legendary Icelandic footballer Eidur Gudjohnsen told TASS on Sunday.

"The Russian national team have been going through difficult period in maybe couple of years. It is a great opportunity to lift up their profile in front of their home fans," the former footballer and the best goal scorer in the history of the Icelandic national squad said.

"There is no bigger opportunity than holding a World Cup in your country, so it should be a lot of positive around the team," he added.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup’s Football Park opened in Teatralnaya Square in Rostov-on-Don in south Russia on Saturday. Gudjohnsen was among honorary guests who attended the event.

"I was very warm welcomed in Russia, everybody around is very helpful. I've got nothing but positive things to say. I haven't seen much but so far it is very good," the former Icelandic footballer said.

On March 6, Russia entered the 100-day countdown to the start of the much-anticipated global quadrennial football event, which is the FIFA World Cup.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 FIFA 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 aforementioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.