Mustache of Hope: Russia Unites to Support Its Football Team

What started as a joke on the lowest ranking team quickly turned into a flashmob as fans show support sporting real and fake mustaches - and it seems to have magic powers.



A team that went from zero to Russia’s hero at 2018 FIFA World Cup? Team Russia!

While everyone poked fun at its members and their collective as well as their individual skills, a popular late-night host Ivan Urgant suggested fans show support by growing a mustache, just like the one that belongs to the team’s coach Stanislav Cherchesov.

It was a joke - a hymn, actually - Urgant pointedly named “The Mustache of Hope.” Everyone giggled.

But then came the first victory, and then the second and the Russian team for the first time in its history gets into the playoffs. The nation is in awe. And then they win yet again and make it into the quarterfinals. The nation explodes. By July 6, the hashtag #усынадежды (#mustacheofhope) has over 65,000 posts on Instagram. No wonder the word “mustache” in Russian is always plural.

Fake, real, long, short, on babies, on cats, anything to help the team win.

“Dear God, let me get some heart medicine… We believe…,” writes Ekaterina Gerasimova.

“Support your football players at the 2018 Championship,” writes Valeri Ivanov.

“A minute before this shot, the boy fell down, skinned his knee and was crying a river. But the guys with Channel 1 let him join their team. All the tears dried up. Preparations for the Russia - Croatia game are in full swing,” says the post from the morning show on the state channel.

… Because cats are a natural when it comes to showing off a mustache.

Let's hope their lucky streak continues for the Russia - Croatia game this Saturday.

Want to know more about how Russians do their magic? Check out  Russian superstitions and Russian habits.

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