Portugal Captain Cristiano Ronaldowas treated to a traditional Russian welcome of bread and salt when he arrived with his teammates at Moscow. When the world’s best player, all suited up, was standing with his wing on a lined-up row for a group picture, a traditionally dressed up Russian girl with a round tray containing bread and salt made him laugh and that part of ceremony quite bemused the Portuguese superstar.
Ronaldo broke off a portion of the loaf of bread and dipped it in the salt as teammates and officials could not contain their laughter at the Real Madrid winger's initial hesitation.
Ronaldo finally bit into the bread before turning and laughing to manager Fernando Santos. An age-old Russian tradition, the welcome is practiced when important, respected, or admired guests arrive, and is a sign of hospitality.
The specially baked round bread - known as "karavai" in Russian - is presented with a salt shaker on top and covered with an embroidered towel and presented by a girl in a national “sarafan” outfit with a “kokoshnik” head dress.
The custom is practiced most often during official events or when politicians visit the country. Ronaldo and Portugal kick off their World Cup campaign in a clash of the titans battle against Spain on June 15 in Sochi.