The Real Russia: Goal Click opens up the country before the World Cup

In the run-up to the World Cup, Goal Click have opened up the country through a series of pictures taken by local photographers.

(Photo credit: Goal Click)

Back in April, RealSport spoke to Matthew Barrett, the co-founder of Goal Click

Goal Click is a global photography project, helping people understand each other through football. Approaching people from every country in the world (currently over 80), they give individuals the chance to tell stories that symbolise their country through football – all using one disposable analogue camera.

In the course of their project, they have found some utterly compelling stories; from civil war amputees in Sierra Leone and Kurdish football on the border with Islamic State, to Rwandan Genocide survivors, Serbian ultras, Mexican police or Bukatsu after-school sports clubs in Japan, and women’s football teams in Cape Verde and Nicaragua.

The Real Russia

Ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, global photography project Goal Click has brought together photographers from across the country for a special project, Goal Click: Russia.

(Photo credit: Goal Click)

From Yekaterinburg to Kazan and Volgograd to Nizhny Novgorod, these photographers have documented the “real Russia” and Russian football culture through their own eyes – all using one disposable analogue camera each.

Seven photographers took photos in 13 locations throughout Russia, each with their own story to tell about the football in the country and the impact of the upcoming World Cup.

Photographer Sergey Novikov travelled to six Russian cities as part of the project. Sergey commented, “I documented public spaces that were significantly changed due to the 2018 World Cup – surfaces of our urban landscape, marked with visible objects that appeared to show the city’s involvement in the mass spectacle.”

The Goal Click photographer in Volgograd, Alexander Grivin, said, “Modern Volgograd, much to my regret, is not one of the leading cities of Russia. However, participation in the World Cup has touched upon many spheres of its life and allowed the city to move forward on some problematic issues.”

(Photo credit: Goal Click)

Matthew Barrett, Goal Click CEO and Co-Founder, says “Goal Click has a mission to help people understand each other through football. Ahead of the World Cup we wanted to give a voice to the Russians who really experience the football culture in the country every week. The photos give an honest and unfiltered look at the amazing diversity of Russian society and its culture through football.”

(Photo credit: Goal Click)

The full stories from the Goal Click: Russia project, which include image galleries alongside photographer interviews, can be read in full at and on Instagram @goalclick.

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Jon Mackenzie


Jon Mackenzie is the Football Editor at RealSport.

Regularly appearing on talkSPORT radio, his work has also featured in The Economist, The Blizzard, Tifo Football and on the Futbolgrad Network.

A UEFA and Premier League-accredited journalist, Jon also founded A Team of John O'Sheas podcast and hosts it every week.

Follow him on Twitter @Jon_Mackenzie