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World Cup diary: Fans get a shot at biting Suarez

Last updated on: June 30, 2018 20:01 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo

IMAGE: Cook Valery Maksimchik poses with pizzas decorated with portraits of Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Uruguay's Luis Suarez. Photographs: Anton Vaganov/Reuters

A restaurant in St Petersburg has struck a chord with the hordes of soccer fans in town for the World Cup by serving up pizzas featuring the faces of some of the tournament's biggest stars.


Ahead of Saturday's last 16 match between Uruguay and Portugal in Sochi, football fans who visited the HopHead Tap Room bar in St Petersburg were given a chance to turn the tables on Luis Suarez and take a bite out of the Uruguay striker.

Uruguay's record scorer arrived in Russia looking to dispel the memory of his infamous bite on Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is the other player featured in chef Valery Maksimchik's unique pizza art, and the edible portraits are a big hit with soccer fans and the restaurant's regulars alike.

"It really does have a bite," said one satisfied customer, while chewing his way through a slice of Suarez.

Each soccer pizza portrait takes nearly two hours of careful stencilling and cutting. The dough is cooked before the stencilling process and then the cheese is melted into position.

"We started doing this in connection with the World Cup, we support football and sport through this method," said Maksimchik, who has also made pizza portraits of Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov and striker Artem Dzyuba.

"My main work is as a pizzaiolo, but this is a hobby, so it brings me pleasure, like any hobby would."

The chef has promised to make pizza portraits of each Russia player if the hosts go all the way and win the World Cup.

Free-scoring Belgium target 16 goals to get free TVs


IMAGE: Belgium players celebrate following their sides victory against England. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Belgium scored nine goals in their three World Cup group games, more than any other country, and forward Dries Mertens said on Saturday he was motivated by more than just winning the trophy.

Mertens, scorer of an outrageous volley against Panama that opened Belgium's account in Russia, joked that friends back home were counting on him to help the team hit a target of 16 goals to make good on a retailer's special World Cup promotion.

Asked by reporters at their training camp near Moscow about Belgium's free-scoring run, the Napoli player noted that a Belgian electrical chain was offering to reimburse people who bought a TV for the World Cup -- if the team score more than 15.

"My friends bought the television. So I'm thinking about that. So I want to score a lot of goals to give a free television to my friends," he declared ahead of Belgium's last 16 clash with Japan on Monday.

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