For Russia, the 2018 World Cup was as much about saving face on the football pitch as showing a welcoming face to the visiting world.
And on both counts, Russia can take pride in what has occurred over the last month. On the pitch, a squad regarded by its own public and media as one of the worst assembled managed to make a run to the World Cup quarter finals where they lost out to Croatia on penalties.
But will that on field success mask necessary changes that need to be made in Russian football to bring about improvements?
You can listen to the full interview with Alan Moore on the podcast player or on iTunes:
Ireland's own Alan Moore of Capital FM Moscow joined me on this week's Team 33 and feels that may well end up being the case.
"I think they over-achieved and unfortunately, it papers over the cracks that are here in Russian football," he said.
"So it's reduced the chance of fixing Russian football for 2022 or 2026."
Alan also pointed out that the fixture order worked in Russia's favour as their first games against Saudi Arabia and Egypt were against teams with players who had been fasting.
He also talked about Denis Cheryshev's unlikely role as Russia's World Cup hero, having started on the bench in the opener against the Saudis before being brought on early after Alan Dzagoev was forced off with a hamstring injury.
We also Goggle boxed the World Cup semi final and Killian and Derek debated whether "England" thinks it "owns" football:
Recent interviews on Team 33 include former Man United cult hero Andrei Kanchelskis, ex-England international Carlton Palmer, former Newcastle and Everton left back Alessandro Pistone, Chelsea legends Bobby Tambling and Paddy Mulligan, Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, ex-England striker Darius Vassell, Liverpool legend David Fairclough, former Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella, USA captain Eric Lichaj and former Everton forward Tomasz Radzinski. Plus our in-depth chats with Tony Coton, Packie Bonner, Nobby Solano, Ron Atkinson and Alan Curbishley are still available on iTunes. You can find them all in one place by subscribing to Team 33 on iTunes.