Argentina to open FIFA 2018 World Cup final venue in friendly against Russia

The stadium, originally opened in 1956, has been transformed since it closed for the refit in 2013.

By: AP | Moscow | Published: October 21, 2017 5:29:57 pm
Russia vs Argentina, FIFA 2018 World Cup, Luzhniki stadium, Moscow Olympics The stadium capacity has increased from 78,000 to 81,000 seats. (Source: AP)

Argentina will travel to Russia to play the first game at Moscow’s newly renovated stadium for the 2018 World Cup final. The Argentine Football Association has confirmed the Luzhniki stadium will be the venue for its previously announced friendly with Russia on November 11.

The stadium, originally opened in 1956, has been transformed since it closed for the refit in 2013. Almost everything but the Soviet-era facade was ripped out, and capacity increased from 78,000 to 81,000 seats.

Gone is the athletics track used for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, with stands moved much closer to the pitch in a soccer-specific configuration.

Russia plays Spain in another friendly November 14 with the venue not yet announced while Argentina plays Nigeria in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar the same day.

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