- The 2018 World Cup kicked off on Thursday with the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
- After Russia scored the first goal of the tournament, cameras captured President Vladimir Putin shrugging and shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
- Twitter was quick to react, imagining the possible conversations surrounding the handshake.
- SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know the score, don’t read on.
The 2018 World Cup kicked off on Thursday, with Russia beating Saudi Arabia, 5-0, in the opening match.
While the rest of the tournament is bound to feature iconic and memorable moments on the pitch, the lasting image from the opening game is likely to be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s shrug and consequent handshake with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the first goal.
Twelve minutes into the match, the Saudi back line got caught out of place after a corner kick, leaving a wide-open opportunity for Russia’s Yury Gazinsky to score the first goal of the tournament.
What a time to get your first international goal!
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) June 14, 2018
The goal was a great start to the tournament for the host nation, but the moment that had everyone talking took place in the immediate aftermath, when cameras caught the interaction between the Russian president and the Saudi crown prince, starting with a shrug, followed by a sympathetic handshake.
Naturally, Twitter was quick to fire off jokes.
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) June 14, 2018
Thought that Saudi marking on the back post was suspect for the Russia goal, but not match-fixing suspect, until I saw MBS and Putin shaking hands in front of a smiling Infantino. I laughed. pic.twitter.com/bBvJd2tBtr
— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) June 14, 2018
Putin shake that hand like…. "We still building the pipeline right dawg?"????????????????
— THE UNBEARABLES???????? (@senator_forde) June 14, 2018
Putin: "I bet you half my gas reserves Trump signs a free trade agreement with me first."
Crown Prince: "You are on."
Gianni: *thinking* my heroes. pic.twitter.com/TMDe65997o
— Caiphus Kgosana (@CaiphusK_11) June 14, 2018
There’s plenty of football left to be played before a winner is declared in Russia, but there’s a chance that the most memorable image of the tournament has already been captured.
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