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Newspapers in Education: World Cup 2018, week 4

This article has been specially written for thousands of pupils across Northern Ireland who are doing the Belfast Telegraph cross-curricular project on the 2018 World Cup. Over a six-week period we will focus on star players from countries involved in the tournament, the places where games will take place in Russia and cultural icons of the host nation.

World Cup cities

Ekaterinburg

Ekaterinburg is the fourth largest city in Russia in terms of population with around 1.4 million living in it.

It is located on the border of Europe and Asia and at the foot of the Ural Mountains.

Some of the tallest buildings in Russia are in the city which has become one of the country's most important economic areas.

The Ekaterinburg Arena, being used for the World Cup, is home to one of Russia's oldest football clubs, FC Ural.

Kazan

Kazan is one of Russia's oldest cities and has 30 of the country's largest universities.

The Kazan Kremlin is the city's most famous building. It was declared a World Heritage site 18 years ago.

In 2009 Kazan was chosen as the 'Sports capital of Russia' and has hosted a number of big sporting events.

The Kazan Arena was designed by the same firm who designed the new Wembley stadium in London.

Venue: Ekaterinburg Arena

City: Ekaterinburg

Capacity: 35,000

Venue: Kazan Arena

City: Kazan

Capacity: 45,000

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time.

Born in Russia in 1828, he attended university studying law and oriental languages and later served in the army during the Crimean War.

It is for his writing, however, that he is known and respected around the world.

People first started to take notice of him when he wrote the books Childhood, Boyhood and Youth in the 1850s.

The novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina ensured that he became a writing giant.

Over the years both books have been turned into movies and television shows.

War and Peace is one of the most famous novels ever published, while in 2007 in a poll of contemporary authors Anna Karenina was voted the "greatest book ever written".

As well as writing, Tolstoy founded numerous schools for poor people in Russia. He died in 1910 aged 82.

Mo Salah

Mo Salah is a superstar for Liverpool and Egypt.

The sensational forward player was injured for Liverpool in the first half of their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in May but has been named in Egypt's World Cup squad.

Everyone in Egypt will hope he is fit to play because he is the main man in their team. If he features Liverpool fans all over the globe will be cheering him on.

Born in 1992, Salah started his career with his hometown side El Mokawloon in Egypt moving to Swiss side Basel in 2012.

Salah was a big success in Switzerland, helping Basel win the league title in his first season.

By 2014 he had moved to England, joining Chelsea for £11m.

It did not work out for Salah with Chelsea and he had loan spells with Italian teams Fiorentina and Roma, before signing for the latter where he showed his class and ability in front of goal.

That led to Liverpool snapping him up in 2017 and in his first season at Anfield he was sensational scoring 32 league goals and playing an inspirational role in the Merseyside club's run to the Champions League final.

Salah won a host of awards including the PFA Players' Player of the Year and Football Writers' Player of the Year.

A huge hero for Liverpool, it is hard to believe that Salah is even more popular in Egypt.

He made his senior debut for his country in 2011 and was Egypt's top scorer as they qualified for the World Cup finals in Russia.

This will be Egypt's first World Cup since 1990. Salah scored a last minute penalty in a 2-1 victory over Congo to take his team to the 2018 tournament.

Date of Birth: June 15, 1992 (age 25)

Height: 1.75 metres (5ft 9in)

Country: Egypt

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba will be determined to show his worth when France play in this year's World Cup.

The midfielder has had a testing time since joining Manchester United in 2016 but there is no doubt that he has great ability.

This is actually Pogba's second spell at United. He was there as a teenager joining the Old Trafford club from French team Le Havre in 2009.

Pogba was involved in just a few games for Manchester United when he was a young player and it wasn't until he signed for Italian team Juventus in 2012 that he started to shine.

With Juventus he won many trophies including four league titles in a row and in 2015 helped the side reach the Champions League final where they lost to Barcelona.

With his strength and skill he scored important goals and was considered one of the best young players on the planet.

Two years ago Manchester United decided to buy him and paid a then world record transfer fee of £90m to bring him back to the club.

In his first season, despite being criticised on occasion for his performances, he won the League Cup and Europa League with United.

From Pogba was 16, he was viewed as a future star of the French national side and he was the captain of the French Under-20 team that won the Under-20 World Cup in 2013.

In that year he also made his senior international debut and in 2014 was awarded the Best Young Player prize at the 2014 World Cup. In 2016 he was an important player as France made it through to the European Championship final, losing to Portugal.

Date of Birth: March 15, 1993 (age 25)

Height: 1.91 metres (6ft 3in)

Country: France

Pupil profile

Name: Olivia McAfee

Class: Year 6

School: Christian Brothers’ PS, Armagh

Which sporting activities do you take part in?

I take part in Gaelic for Armagh Harps, running for the school and soccer for Armagh City. I enjoy these sports because they are fun and energetic. They also help me stay fit and healthy.

Who is your favourite sports person and why?

Andrew Murnin is my favourite sports person because he was so quick and so fast and scores a lot of points — he plays for Armagh.

Which sporting team do you support and why?

I support Armagh City because they are my local team and they are great.

Which country do you think will win the FIFA World Cup?

I think Spain will win the World Cup because their players are good and their defence is amazing. My favourite Spanish players are Jordi Alba, Diego Costa and Koke.

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