World Cup 2018
In Dialog with Russia

During the soccer World Cup, the world’s gaze will be on Russia, where the best players from 32 countries will compete for the title of world champions. This spectacular sporting event provides an opportunity to look beyond the stadium and get better acquainted with a country that is part of Europe, yet can seem remote and foreign at times. The Robert Bosch Stiftung has been fostering dialog and exchange with Russia since the 1990s, even in politically challenging times. Find out more about our work and our motivations.

Robert Bosch Stiftung |

The Ball and the Spirit of Football

When the soccer World Cup kicks off in Russia, “The Ball” will have toured 18 countries, from the UK to Germany, across the Balkans, through Asia, arriving ultimately in Russia. It is traveling in the luggage of former pro soccer player Andrew Aris and his team, Spirit of Football, a social enterprise based in Erfurt, Germany. Supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Spirit of Football team runs workshops and plays soccer with pros and politicians, children and refugees. And everybody who kicks or heads the ball can sign it.

"Obviously, Moscow wanted this World Cup."

What does the global sporting event mean for Moscow? Can the World Cup help improve the recently rather strained relationship between Russia and the Western world? Russian author and journalist Maxim Trudolyubov, fellow of the Foundation's Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, takes a look behind the scenes of the World Cup in Russia.