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Soccer World Cup de-toxifies Russia’s global brand

MOSCOW: When the last fan files out of Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on Sunday after the soccer World Cup final, Vladimir Putin can bask in the knowledge that his objective for the tournament has been met: Russia has, for now at least, been…

Ronaldo 1 Messi 0 in World Cup duel

MOSCOW: Cristiano Ronaldo has emphatically won the first round of his World Cup duel with eternal rival Lionel Messi -- revelling in the adulation after his dramatic hat-trick while the Argentine flopped against Iceland. Messi knew he…