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Viktoria's secret

Viktoria's looks and headdress
It was quite a sight. The locals weren’t going out en masse to be photographed with the most wildly dressed Brazilian fan. They wanted to be pictured with Viktoria Vladimirova instead. She’s a Russian supporter who flew over from Moscow especially for the World Cup.

You only have to take one look at Viktoria to see why. The tall blonde may not be as colorfully clad as the Dutch, Brazilians, Japanese or Americans, but with her Barbie doll face, red lips and upstanding Russian headdress (or kokosjnik), she attracts attention immediately.

Add to that the fact that Brazilian fans rarely meet someone from Russia - especially in front of the massive Maracanã stadium.

I had a quick chat with Viktoria. Here’s what she said.

How many times have you already been photographed?
No idea. I've lost count by now. There have been so many.

Did you expect such a stampede?
Well, to be honest, no. After all, I don't look that special or different do I? But I did buy and put on the latest Russian football shirt especially for this World Cup.

Your headdress, including the flap and the pearls, makes you look special. They're not used to that here.
Well, that's not the case for us in Russia you know. We call it a kokosjnik, and it's one of our traditions. Anyway, it's fun to wear.

You don't refuse if someone wants to be photographed with you
No, of course not. Why would I? In , for me it's also an honor.

Do you ask other fans to be photographed with you?
Well, I'm not particularly keen on doing that. Although I do make an occasional exception if I see a very special creation, like just now. I saw a Belgian dressed as a devil. That was nice. Yet the most amusingly dressed supporter I've met turned out to come from Russia.

What did he look like? 
He was dressed as a hairy bear, including fur shoes. I thought it was really comical, only he wasn't wearing a mask.

Currently you’re wearing a dark red Russian soccer shirt. Which other shirts in this tournament do you think look good?
That's difficult to say because there aren't that many surprises. In my opinion, they're all very reserved. Not really challenging. But if I had to pick one, I'd go for the Italian shirt. I've always liked that shade of blue, particularly if the shirts are closely fitted. And you can certainly rely on the Italians to do that. Just like the Dutch, by the way. Take their lovely blue away strip for instance. But I think it's going a bit too far to buy it just for that.

In which case you prefer to be photographed with someone wearing it.