Karadeniz: Kazan is unlike other Russian cities
For a football player who has spent his entire life at his hometown club, moving to another team abroad is no easy task. Adapting to a foreign culture, not to mention a different style of football, can often be a painful process. That is why it is very important to find similar traits to your own country, and something close to your heart, in your new home.
Turkish midfielder Gokdeniz Karadeniz, who has earned 50 caps for his country, was lucky in this respect. Karadeniz played for Trabzonspor in his native Turkey until he was 28 years old and then opted to move abroad. As it transpired, Russian club Rubin Kazan was the perfect choice.
"I was at Trabzonspor for ten years," Karadeniz told FIFA.com, "and it wasn't easy to move to an unfamiliar country with a different climate. However, it helped that there are similarities with my culture here in Kazan. I'm Muslim and here they also practise Islam; there are many beautiful mosques. This is a completely unique city, unlike all the others in Russia."
On Saturday, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Official Draw is being held in Kazan, which truly does stand apart from other Russian cities.