Russia: 'Super President' Putin reflects on life, work and World Cup

SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): «That person who asks, said that Russia is the host of the championship. Therefore, the most important goal as the host country of these events is to hold this championship with dignity, to make it a holiday for millions of football fans around the world. This will be our most important achievement. As for the national team, I must say, it's a fact... Еще. Unfortunately, our team has not shown great results in recent times. But we very much count, all fans and all fans of Russian football expect that the team will play adequately, will show modern, interesting, beautiful football [matches] and will fight till the end.» *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE* SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): «This is a difficult question. There are many contenders. These are Latin American teams — Argentina and Brazil. We know that the German national team played brilliantly in previous world championships and [showed] a very good quality of the game. A very beautiful football was demonstrated by the Spanish national team. For sure there will be other contenders, but the strongest will win.» *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE* SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): «Yes, I will watch it. And also, as the head of the government, which hosts the championship, I must be at the opening and at the closing of it. I'll look at my schedule. If I can, then I'll attend some other games.» *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE* SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): «I have football players whom I consider outstanding and who, of course, can claim this title. Among the Russian, Soviet players is Lev Yashin, among foreign — Pele. Well, I really like [Diego] Maradona.» *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE* SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): «Every day I spend about 2-2.5 hours on sports. I train in the gym, I swim, and sometimes I go out on the mat if I have sparring partners. I play hockey but not as often as I would like to. It's too strong to say that I 'play', but I try to play hockey.» *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE* SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): «I worked in the intelligence service of the Soviet Union, in the foreign intelligence service of the Soviet Union. I already have a profession. But I graduated from St. Petersburg State University, the Faculty of Law, therefore, in principle, I could work as a lawyer, but I worked all my life in security agencies and in the foreign intelligence of the Soviet Union. Then, I worked in the executive authorities in St. Petersburg, in the municipality. I liked each of these activities; they were close to my soul. I think that I could work as a lawyer.» *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE* SOT, Vladimir Putin, Russian President (Russian): «Yes. I brought it because Chairman Xi Jinping mentioned that he loves Russian ice cream, so I brought him a gift. We exchange some little things with him. But what kind of surprise will it be if I tell you in advance what I will bring him as a gift? Let it be a secret that remains between me and you, I'll whisper in your ear later.» *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE* An interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin took a personal turn as the Russian President spoke with President of China Media Group Shen Haixiong in Moscow about his friendship with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping and his hopes for the 2018 World Cup, in footage released on Wednesday. Putin talked fondly of his humble birthday bash with the Chinese chairman where they had apparently «drank a glass of vodka each and cut up some sausage.» «We just did it after the end of the working day,» he added. On the topic of the 2018 World Cup, Putin expressed hope the Russian team perform well and «fight till the end.» The Russian President also singled out a number of his World Cup favourites

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