“Bill-issimo”: russia celebrates its world champions

"the best hockey players on the planet give us one more reason to be proud of our country," the head of state told sbornaja coach sinetula biljaletdinov, according to a spokesman for the kremlin. By st. Petersburg to vladivostok tens of thousands of russians were already on the streets at that time. With car parades and chants of "rossiya, rossiya," they celebrated the 26th World Cup. World championship title, which came about as confidently as hardly any other success before it.

Ten wins in ten games for the skaters in sweden and finland, the final victory against brave slovakians underlined the russian superiority in the two weeks of the tournament. "the invincibles", the newspaper "sport express" christened the team on monday. Led by tournament MVP and top scorer yevgeny malkin, the russians also stoked hopes for an equally exhilarating home tournament during the 2014 winter olympics. Sochi still remains the big goal, Biljaletdinov emphasized immediately after the world championship gala.

with superstars like malkin, alexander ovechkin, alexander sjomin and pawel dazjuk in their own ranks, the anticipation is justified. Against the slovakians, sjomin excelled with two goals, dazjuk with a goal and two assists, ovechkin with two assists, and malkin with the final point to 6:2. "we played like a team, every match, every change," emphasized nikolai kulemin. "victory," head of government dmitry medvedev wrote on twitter after the final siren.

Coach Biljaletdinov, who had taken over the team after disappointing performances at the 2010 olympics and the world championships the previous year, was quickly identified as the father of success. "he is the best coach in russia at the moment," said ovechkin, "i am very proud to play under him.". The newspaper "sovetski sport" ran the headline "BILL-issimo" – in reference to Biljaletdinov’s nickname "Bill".

With their third world championship victory in five years, the Russians also climbed to the top of the world rankings and will be the top seed at the next tournament in a year’s time. In the preliminary round group in helsinki, they will again face germany.

For the slovakians, disappointment quickly gave way to joy over the first world championship medal since 2003. "it was a privilege to play in the final," said captain and defensive giant zdeno chara, who won the stanley cup alongside dennis seidenberg the year before. The best defender of this world championship had scored both goals in the final game. "guys, thank you!" was the headline in the newspaper "novy cas" on monday.

"all my players have shown a fantastic tournament performance," said coach vladimir vujtek, who was glad that the world championship is over. As a matter of tradition, he never changed his shirt after the victories, he said. "and it already smells."

the slovakians dedicated the silver medal to ex-captain pavol demitra, who died in 2011 in the tragic plane crash in yaroslavl. captain chara wore the jersey of the player with the number 38, who had led the slovakians as captain on the ice the previous year, at the award ceremony. Russia’s coach biljaletdinov also stressed to dedicate the success to the deceased of the aircraft tragedy.

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