As the 2018 FIFA World Cup officially kicked off today with the first Russia vs Saudi Arabia match, this is a face and a name that you need to know:  Victoria Lopyreva.

She is the FIFA World Cup 2018 Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola Official Ambassador, Special Ambassador UNAIDS, TV Presenter, Model and Miss Russia 2003 officially open the Confederations Cup in 2017.  She made history by becoming the second woman in the world to kick the ball on the pitch to mark the beginning of a match. The first was Marilyn Monroe who kicked-off the game between America and Israel in her country exactly 60 years ago.

Image Source : Victoria Lopyreva’s Instagram

 

We may be living too far to know who she is, Victoria is a household name in Russia. Well, you may ask, how did a Miss Russia become the ambassador of the FIFA World Cup? Apart from the fact that this year’s World Cup is held in Russia, her home country,  shortly after she was crowned Miss Russia, she was approached to present Football Night on NTV. Being the first female to do so, she immersed herself in the game and soon became an expert. The opportunity may have come as a surprise at the time but stood her in good stead when Russia won the World Cup.

Born in the southern port of Rostov-on-Don, the jet-setter has multiple roles. Alongside TV presenting, she continues to host events and to inspire in motivational speaking. Victoria still finds time to study – she enrolled on a FIFA designed sports management MBA course and has always capitalized on her celebrity status for noble causes. Recently appointed Special Ambassador for UNAIDS, she combines the two roles to strengthen a message they share : zero discrimination, everyone is welcome.

Quintessential Russian beauty, Victoria wears her heart on her sleeve, she’s passionate about her country and about football. She recognizes the good that football does in uniting people and the chance that Russia has to show them its best side. She has made it her purpose in life to contribute – representing her country most recently at MIPIM in Cannes and Roscongress in Davos, where once again she demonstrated she’s a force to be reckoned with.  Her travels have a new meaning now as a platform for spreading good news about the World Cup in Russia. Encouraging fans to support their teams, reminding them about visa-free travel and drawing attention to sites to see / things to do in between matches. She has a message for her country-folk too: smile, welcome, lend a helping hand whenever you can.

Victoria is also a philantrophist at heart – she actively participates in voluntary work for refugees, involved in many social programmes and projects which help those in need and also helps to develop sporting infrastructures.  She received a Medal for Brave Work for her service to popularisation of patriotism, culture and sport among Russian youth. A truly beautiful woman inside out, that’s what we classify as a Goddess, isn’t it?

Image Source : Victoria Lopyreva’s Instagram