Tuesday 25 September 2018

Did this Russian banknote predict Igor Akinfeev’s winning penalty save?

It was written in the stars.

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saves a penalty against Spain at the 2018 World Cup (Victor R. Caivano/AP)
Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saves a penalty against Spain at the 2018 World Cup (Victor R. Caivano/AP)

By Max McLean, Press Association

Russia’s penalty victory against Spain in the last-16 of the 2018 World Cup was predicted by almost nobody, but was the Bank of Russia one of the few that did?

The hosts Russia took the game against the 2010 world champions into extra-time and then penalties, where they won 4-3 with the help of goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, whose winning save can be seen here.

Using his feet expertly, Akinfeev kept out Iago Aspas’s penalty to secure Russia a place in the quarter-finals, and his moment of magic was captured perfectly by a commemorative banknote that has been in circulation since May.

The holographic image on the 100-ruble note, which celebrates the 2018 Fifa World Cup, shows a player kicking the ball in a similar fashion to Akinfeev.

“Prediction has always been our strong side,” read the caption on the Bank of Russia’s Twitter account.

Whether the note has predictive qualities or whether Akinfeev took inspiration from it we’ll probably never know. Regardless, the save itself is definitely worth commemorating.

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(Antonio Calanni/AP)

And at least now they won’t have to commission anything new to do so.

Press Association

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