ALROSA announced that it has picked two winners for its competition to name a large rough diamond with a football-related name. A 69.7-carat stone will be named Lev Yashin after the legendary Russian goalkeeper, while a 76.53-carat one will be named Brilliant Moment. The competition was run to commemorate the ongoing FIFA World Cup football tournament being held in Russia.
More than 550 people participated in the 10-day competition and many of them made more than one suggestion. Surnames of footballers from various squads, variations to the championship's name and even the name of official match ball were among the most popular suggestions. Humorous names were also proposed — suggestions came in naming the stone after the tears or emotions shown by a particular player after scoring a goal or making a costly mistake. Unofficial symbols of the championship such as the Kokoshnik (traditional Russian headdress) were also among the suggestions.
More than 30 people suggested naming the diamond Lev Yashin, but the first to do so was Ilya Turbachev from Chelyabinsk, who is to receive a ticket to the final game.
ALROSA Chief Executive Sergey Ivanov commented, ”In my opinion, the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia will go down in history and will become as legendary as the identity of the priceless player Lev Yashin. He is the best goalkeeper of the 20th century, the only goalkeeper in the world to win the Ballon d'Or award as well as the European Nations' Cup in 1960. Yashin became one of the most recognised footballers in the world, a kind of diamond. Large diamonds are extremely rare in nature, each of them is unique, and Lev Ivanovich was just as unique a man and an outstanding sportsman.”
Lev Yashin died in 1990, but his widow, Valentina Timofeyevna, will receive a certificate with information about the rough diamond, while the precious stone itself will be included in the ALROSA's collection.
The other winner, Aytalina Argunova from Mirny, suggested the name Brilliant Moment.
"We would like to dedicate this stone to all the multiple brilliant moments that our national team demonstrated over the past five games. I think many Russians are sincerely grateful to the team and its coach for the excellent game, and for the huge number of positive emotions," Ivanov said.
Both winners will receive tickets to the World Cup Final game on Sunday.