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Eto'o and Carlos hail 2018 hosts Russia

"The fact that Russia will host the World Cup is the proof that the country is moving in the right direction," Eto'o, who joined big spenders Anzhi from Inter Milan in September, was quoted as saying by the 2018 organising committee on Friday.

"It's a great opportunity to show the world the best of Russia: it is such a beautiful, historic place," added the four-times African Footballer of the Year.

"So far, my strongest impression of Russia is the warmth of its people. I am sure every fan who comes to the World Cup in 2018 will feel the same."

Exactly a year ago in Zurich, Russia won the right to stage the football extravaganza by beating England and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands.

Brazilian Roberto Carlos, the Cameroonian's team-mate at Anzhi, was equally enthusiastic.

"I have been in Russia long enough to experience the real hospitality of its people," said the 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil, who was named Anzhi's joint coach in September after joining them earlier in the year as a player.

"I'm sure the World Cup in Russia will be full of surprises and we will definitely experience a stunning atmosphere throughout the tournament."

Despite his remarks, life in Russia has not always been smooth for Roberto Carlos. In April, Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg were fined 300,000 roubles ($10,620) after the Brazilian was targeted in a racist incident by one of their fans.