Samara Arena

Samara Arena

Games hosted at Russia 2018: Costa Rica v Serbia, 17 June; Denmark v Australia, 21 June; Uruguay v Russia, 25 June; Senegal v Colombia, 28 June; Round of 16, 2 July; Quarter-final, 7 July.

History lesson Ground for the Cosmos Arena was broken in 2014. The project has been controversial locally and its originally mooted location on an island outside the city was rejected after heavy criticism. It has not been an easy ride towards construction although the end product should, amid an attractive green setting, be pleasing to the eye.

Star attraction This should be one of the tournament’s more striking venues. Samara is proud of its history as one of the primary hubs of the Soviet space programme and the 65m-high glass dome, which will be lit up at night, promises to be spectacular. The city itself should be an enjoyable visit – raw, energetic and beautifully situated at the confluence of the Samara and Volga rivers.