For a month this summer, football fans from every corner of the planet made the trek to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, joining Russians from all walks of life in a celebration of the Beautiful Game.

After 64 matches and 169 goals, which saw 31 other teams come and go, it’s France who have departed with the trophy, commencing their second reign as world champions.

Before we close the book on the tournament and switch the jerseys of our adopted countries for the colours of our Premier League teams, we wanted to take one more look at Russia.

Our resident photographer Kurt Ganapathy spent 17 days travelling across the world’s largest country, from Vladivostok in the Russian Far East to Sochi on the Black Sea, via Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg, Moscow, St Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod.

His journey took him to four World Cup matches – Portugal vs Morocco, Brazil vs Costa Rica, England vs Panama and Australia vs Peru – but the football was often just a bonus.

What he’ll remember most is the warmth of the Russian people and the camaraderie he shared with his fellow visitors.

Downtown Vladivostok, Russia

In the navy (Vladivostok, Russia)

Hipster chic (St Petersburg, Russia)

A young fan with the flags of Russia and Egypt on her cheeks (Yekaterinburg, Russia)

A bird in hand (Vladivostok, Russia)

Pigeons parade at Central Square (Vladivostok, Russia)

A couple canoodles in the midst of an exhibition dedicated to Russia’s (and the USSR’s) greatest footballing moments (Vladivostok, Russia)

Up on the roof (St Petersburg, Russia)

Hare Krishna followers dancing (Vladivostok, Russia)

Here’s looking at you, kid (Irkutsk, Russia)

Friends party the day away by Lake Baikal (Irkutsk, Russia)

Fans watch on as the final games of Group B play out (Sochi, Russia)

Korean fans for a day celebrate – almost in disbelief – as their team knocks out the much-fancied Germans (Sochi, Russia)

Patrons of Killfish Discount Bar watch Mexico vs Germany (Yekaterinburg, Russia)

A World Cup volunteer points a fan in the right direction outside Kazan Cathedral (St Petersburg, Russia)

Meet me in St Isaac’s (St Petersburg, Russia)

The Black Sea shimmers in the late-afternoon light (Sochi, Russia)

I’ll wait here (Sochi, Russia)

A leap of faith (Sochi, Russia)

To the Tokarevsky Lighthouse (Vladivostok, Russia)

Sunset soliloquy (Vladivostok, Russia)

Convenience stores dazzle in the fading light in Barabinsk

The Beijing-Ulaanbaatar-Moscow service departs

A long-awaited reunion in Novosibirsk

She said да!

A salute to Maradona

Above us only sky (Agryz, Russia)

Metro magic (Moscow, Russia)

A fan heads to Australia vs Peru (Sochi, Russia)

The thin blue line (Moscow, Russia)

Police officers ride towards Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow, Russia)

Brazil fans gather after their team’s last-gasp 2-0 win (St Petersburg, Russia)

The long way round (St Petersburg, Russia)

Russia fans get a chant going on Nikolskaya Street (Moscow, Russia)

All dolled up (Moscow, Russia)

Morocco fans singing in the rain in Red Square (Moscow, Russia)

“Messi” might be regretting that last shot of vodka (Moscow, Russia)

A hopeful fan tries his luck before Portugal vs Morroco (Moscow, Russia)

Pre-match reflections (St Petersburg, Russia)

England supporters get their warpaint before England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)

High-fives for the ever-present and ever-enthusiastic World Cup volunteers (Sochi, Russia)

Mime time (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)

Panama fans make their presence felt at Brazil vs Costa Rica (St Petersburg, Russia)

Morocco’s elimination at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal means little to these two young fans (Moscow, Russia)

A super fan/busker entertains the crowds around Red Square (Moscow, Russia)

Putin can’t resist the opportunity to see Neymar for himself (St Petersburg, Russia)

A Peru fan in full regalia (Sochi, Russia)

Inflatable Llamas and kangaroos get involved in plenty of battles before the game (Sochi, Russia)

Peru fans in fine form (Sochi, Russia)

Australia and Peru fans march towards Fisht Olympic Stadium (Sochi, Russia)

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