Confederations Cup Diary: Ronaldo gold for Silva, don't touch the dial in Chile

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is sometimes accused of making it all about him but he showed another side in Russia on Monday. There were no matches on Monday as Russia absorbed the end of the group stages at Confederations Cup 2017. But some FIFA bigwigs faced the music in St Petersburg and Cristiano Ronaldo started giving awards away. All this and more in our latest daily diary. RONALDO SALUTES SILVA BY DONATING PRIZE The man-of-the-match awards at the Confederations Cup have been fairly easy to predict, given that they are decided by a public vote on social media. It should come as little surprise that the biggest names at the tournament have largely swept the board, with Ronaldo winning three out of three for Portugal. However, the skipper showed some good grace by donating his most recent prize to team-mate Bernardo Silva, who injured his ankle in the act of scoring their second goal in the 4-0 win over New Zealand. Maybe he felt someone else deserved a share of the limelight; perhaps he just doesn't have the room for any more trophies in his museum. Either way, kudos to Cristiano. At FIFA's "half-time" news conference in St Petersburg on Monday, Ronaldo's monopoly over the awards was on the agenda. "It's clear that fans may have different selection criteria but at the moment we are satisfied with the process and we think the best player in the world was a worthy winner of his awards," said FIFA chief competitions and events officer Colin Smith. CHILE TUNES IN While local organising committee chief executive Alexey Sorokin and FIFA head of referees Massimo Busacca took awkward questions over allegations of doping made against Russia's team at the 2014 World Cup and the roll out of video assistant referees respectively at the media briefing, Smith was able to content himself by reading out some handy sounding numbers for the Confederations Cup. Swathes of empty seats at the four venues aside, an average attendance of 37,466 is slightly up on South Africa 2009, while fans in 183 territories around the world have watched games in their own homes. That includes the vast majority of television viewers in Chile, where the Copa America holders' opening win over Cameroon garnered an astonishing 87 per cent audience share. The question is, what were those other folk watching? HEADING FOR THE PEAKS IN SOCHI It's doubtful Sochi would have been close to anyone's list of potential Russian World Cup host cities until the Winter Olympics landed in the region in 2014. Nine days into Confederations Cup 2017, members of the media are well acquainted with matchday venue Fisht Stadium and the surrounding Olympic Park, but a rest day left some time to head east and upwards to the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort that hosted the skiing events in 2014. Visually, it really is a stunning corner of the world, with the silver birch-lined hills rising to steep peaks either side of the rapidly rushing Mzymta River. While the area surrounding Fisht Stadium, all high-end hotels and luxury holiday apartments, can lack a touch of character outside of matchdays, the gentle bustle around Rosa Khutor at lunchtime was pleasing. If you're thinking of heading over for the World Cup and don't mind catching the train down to the coast for matches, this picturesque location could be the place to establish base camp. KAZAN'S MURAL MANIA LIVES ON One of the favourite early images of the Confederations Cup quickly became the most difficult to see, which is quite some feat when you consider that it was a three-story painting of Ronaldo. The graffiti image was produced on the side of an old building facing Portugal's team hotel after the city mayor became concerned about the view from Cristiano's window. Given that it's private property, the area quickly became off limits to photographers, meaning one of Kazan's modern works of art was not given due coverage. There is, however, an alternative. Ruslan Kambolov may not have made an appearance for Russia at these finals but he's become a popular figure in his three years at Rubin Kazan, and he has been given pride of place on the side of a car park in between the stadium and the city's Riviera district. What's more, this one can be seen by anyone who wants to. Who needs Cristiano, eh? WHO WILL RUSSIA BACK? The hosts crashing out in the group stages leaves an obvious hole in the Confederations Cup, while the other team to have captured hearts and minds are no longer with us in Russia. Cameroon were warmly received in their matches against Chile and Australia before Indomitable Lions fever reached its peak in Sochi. Every time Hugo Broos' men crossed halfway versus Germany, the locals went ballistic. Alas, the world champions had no intention of getting in on the party atmosphere and churned out a 3-1 win. So, as we count down to Wednesday's first semi- final, we are left to wonder where Russia's loyalties lie? Will the big stars like Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez hold sway, are Mexico the new Cameroon or will a third game out of four at Fisht Stadium see Germany adopted as Sochi's team?

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