Fans cheer in front of a countdown clock near the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on June 13, 2018. The 2018 Russia World Cup will kick off on June 14. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)
By Sportswriter Su Bin
MOSCOW, June 13 (Xinhua) -- As the clock ticked into the final 24 hours ahead of the World Cup, elated atmosphere from fans around the world can be felt at the iconic Red Square in the Russian capital.
Despite failing to get a ticket to the quadrennial extravaganza, Alonso, a student from Argentina, has decided to stay in Russia until the conclusion of the tournament.
"I hope that Argentina can play in the final and win," he said.
Colombia, Egypt, Iran, Peru......different jerseys of participating sides can be seen on fans from all over the world, and what's in common is that like Alonso, they have put great faith in their home teams at the World Cup.
Featuring James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, Colombia are placed in Group H with Poland, Senegal and Japan.
Colombian fan Rony Quintin believed that his favorite team will finish the group stage with nothing but victories.
"We will win, that's for sure. We will beat Japan 2-0, Poland 1-0 and Senegal 1-0," he said confidently.
Peru are set to return to the World Cup finals after 36 years, and see a large number of fans flood into Russia.
According to statistics by FIFA on June 7, among more than 2.4 million tickets allocated since September 2017, over 43,000 tickets went to Peru fans who are the seventh largest fan group excluding hosts Russia.
Peru is pitched in Group C with title favorite France, Australia and Denmark.
"It was really hard for them (Peru) to qualify, but once they qualified and are now on the World Cup, they are very confident to make it to the last game," said Erick, a Peruvian mechanic travelling 13 hours on flight to make his trip to Russia.
Singing and dancing with national flags in hands, several Peruvian fans grabbed the spotlight, attracting local people to pose with them for photographs in sunny Moscow.
"France is a very strong team. We do understand that we have to play our best to get a win from that match, but we are confident that we have very good players and continue to go to the final," Erick said.
From Thursday's opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia on, football fans can engage in 64 matches from 32 participants and cheer for their beloved teams. So, take a seat and enjoy the show.