After an epic 90-day journey across 65 cities in 51 countries on six continents, the FIFA World CupTM Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola touched down in Vladivostok, Russia, this month to begin the home stretch to the tournament kickoff in June.

Russia is hosting the FIFA World CupT for the first time, so it was only fitting that the arrival of the legendary trophy back in the country marked a historic first with its debut appearance in the far eastern port city of Vladivostok.

Trophy accompanying party

History in the Making

This fourth edition of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola has achieved a number of historic firsts. During the first stage in the fall of 2017, the trophy traveled across Russia for three months, covered nearly 10,000 miles and visited 16 cities, making it the longest host country tour in history.

Accompanying the trophy on its return to Russia was Coca-Cola HBC Russia General Manager Stefanos Vafeidis, FIFA Legend Gilberto Silva, FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour Ambassador Victoria Lopyreva and the Naked Heart Foundation’s founder Natalia Vodianova. The trophy was officially welcomed to Vladivostock at the airport by the acting governor of the Primorsky Krai region Andrey Tarasenko, with celebrations for the public on Vladivostok’s central square.

Unified teams at play

Inclusivity in the Spotlight

Showing how the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola supports local communities, the Coca-Cola Russia team took the opportunity of the visit to launch the national campaign #readyto #openhearts. This campaign aims to raise public awareness of the problems of people with special needs in Russia and help them realize their unlimited potential.

In the spirit of social inclusion, the campaign kicked off with a unified football tournament, the opening match of which was in Vladivostok. Players with intellectual disabilities played on one team with Gilberto Silva and other famous athletes, as well as top government officials form Primorsky Krai, Natalia Vodianova and representatives from the Coca-Cola system in Russia. Similar unified matches will be played in other Trophy Tour cities and culminate with a big match in Moscow at the beginning of July.

Unified teams

Getting #readyfor

The next stops for the Trophy Tour are Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Kazan, Nizhniy Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg and Moscow, with the legendary football prize calling in on Coca-Cola offices and facilities while there. The tour will continue to give the public the chance to see the FIFA World Cup trophy live and get #readyfor the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“We’re on the final stretch and very soon will witness a historic sporting event for Russia and the whole world," said Vafeidis. "In the meantime, we and our partners are delighted to give people from nine more Russian cities a unique opportunity to become part of football history. It’s especially important to us that the Trophy Tour create unforgettable memories for everyone, regardless of age, gender, physical or intellectual abilities.”

For the latest updates from the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola, including upcoming tour destinations and dates, exclusive interviews, photos and videos, visit the official website www.fifa.com/trophytour, the official Facebook page www.facebook.com/trophytour and the official Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/trophytour/.