Hierro and Smertin to join countdown celebrations
Iconic Spanish footballer Fernando Hierro, who participated in three consecutive FIFA World Cups™ in 1994, 1998, 2002, will be in Moscow to attend celebrations marking the launch of the FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia™ countdown clock, with 1,000 days to go until the start of the tournament. He will be joined by Alexey Smertin, former captain of Russia and 2002 FIFA World Cup participant, who won 55 caps for his country.
The footballing stars will be among the guests of honour at an international tournament for youngsters under the age of 16. The event will kick-off in Red Square at 11.45am and will bring together representatives of the national teams from the last three countries to win the FIFA World Cup: Italy, Spain and Germany, as well as Russia, the next Host Country.
Hierro and Smertin will also be attending the ceremony to launch the Russia 2018 countdown clock, scheduled for 1.00pm on Manezhnaya Square.
First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organizing Committee Chairman, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, FIFA Director of Competitions Colin Smith, Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin and CEO of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organising Committee Alexey Sorokin will attend the celebrations.
"It’s really exciting. I am convinced that it will be a big football party amid fantastic scenery, with plenty of players who in the near future will play a crucial role at World Cups,” said Hierro who won 89 caps for his country. “From experience I am convinced that it will be an outstanding World Cup and Russia will be a great host country.”
Smertin echoed Hierro’s excitement: "Celebrating the 1,000 day countdown event in Red Square is taking the FIFA World Cup, the pinnacle for millions of football lovers, to the very heart of Russia and to our hearts as well/ We would like to give everybody the opportunity to share with us this outstanding competition and the joy it brings."
Hierro and Smertin will also be signing autographs at the Football Park which will be opening its doors in Red Square on the day the 1,000 day countdown begins.
A defender, Fernando Hierro won five Spanish league titles and three UEFA Champions Leagues with Real Madrid, where he spent most of his career, making 601 appearances.
He also played for Real Valladolid, Al Rayyan in Qatar and English club Bolton Wanderers.
Alexey Smertin played both at home and internationally for FC Lokomotiv Moscow, Dynamo Moscow, Bordeaux, Chelsea, Portsmouth and Fulham.
The Football Park on Red Square will open on Friday 18 September and provide fans with an unforgettable journey through the world of football. Visitors will be able to study the history of the FIFA World Cup, learn about Russia's plans for the 2018 tournament and take part in football-themed interactive games.
While the park is open, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Winner’s Trophy will be on display for the public.
For more information on 1,000 days to go celebrations visit welcome2018.com/1000days.