Ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Goal Click has brought together photographers from across Russia for a special new project, Goal Click: Russia. These photographers documented the "real Russia" and Russian culture culture through football stories. From Yekaterinburg to Kazan, Volgagrad to Nizhny Novgorod.
Alexander Grivin from Volgograd explored abandoned stadiums, grassroots football and the building of the new stadium, which will host the World Cup in 2018.
What did you try to show with the photos? Was there any wider meaning with the photos?
For many years football was at a very high level in Volgograd. But after years of great performance in Russian and international arenas, football started to decay here.
Currently FC “Rotor” is a second division team, but it’s gaining the momentum to get back to the first division. In my photos I tried to show various scenes: from abandoned stadiums to the building of a new modern arena, which will host the World Cup in 2018.
In my opinion the best photo is of the construction of the new football arena, in which a helicopter carries a rooftop object – I consider that to be a very optimistic and life-affirming image.
What does Volgograd represent about modern Russia?
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.
What is the future of Russian football?
A lot must be changed in Russian football to ensure the improvement of Russian teams. I think that more time needs to be dedicated to minor football, and to build more playgrounds.