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My wintertime inquiry to the expat ‘listserve’ about boys’ football resulted in firsthand acquaintance with this sublime corner of Moscow.

After five years in the Moscow Youth Soccer League, the fabulous but all too short Saturday programme for boys and girls that the Moscow Times organises each autumn, my son was ready for more serious play.

Irish expat David Gilmartin kindly responded to my email plea; his son David had already been training at Luzhniki with a group of about 25 boys bearing Torpedo Moscow team colours.

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Like many Moscow visitors, I first saw Luzhniki Park and Stadium from the panoramic view above it and the Moscow river from Lenin Hills (which re-acquired its pre-1935 Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) moniker in 1999).

From that perch, with its huge ski jump descending down to the Moscow River, the huge Luzhniki park is surrounded on three sides by the river, and is now separated from the city on the fourth by the Third Ring Road.

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Training is indoors in the winter, and moves outside in early spring.