Russia 2018: World Cup host focuses on youth development

Youth football coaches hope that hosting the World Cup, and Russia's surprisingly strong performance thus far, will convince the nation's developing stars that they can compete at the highest level.

    World Cup host-nation Russia will play Spain in the last 16, and have been one of the surprise teams at the tournament.

    Despite the country's rich football history, decades of underachievement had followed the team into the finals.

    But instead of making an early exit, they became the first team to reach the knockout rounds.

    Many Russians first play football on a pitch known as a "korobka". When translated into English, it means "box", and this sort of caged playing space is squeezed into small urban spaces all over the country.

    Al Jazeera's Andy Richardson reports from Moscow, Russia.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.