President Vladimir Putin at the final draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. (FIFA, via Getty Images)


  • Fitness freak Vladimir Putin says he dedicates two hours a day, every day, to sports.
  • The Russian president also listed three soccer players who he considers to be outstanding.
  • Here's who he picked.


If you didn't know that Vladimir Putin is a fitness freak, then you do not know Vladimir Putin.

In a recent interview with the China Media Group ahead of his visit to China, the Russian president revealed the extent of his passion.

According to Russian news agency Tass, Putin said he dedicates two hours a day, every day, for sports — and his favourite exercises include swimming, judo, and hockey.

"I dedicate about two to two and a half hours to sports every day," he said.

He apparently exercises in the gym, swims, and, providing he has a sparring partner to practice against, he'll engage in a bit of judo.

"I also play hockey though not so often as I would like to," Putin said. "It would be an exaggeration to say that I actually 'play,' but I do try hard."

Though he may not have named football as one of his favourite spots, ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in his home country, Putin was also asked for his picks of the most outstanding soccer players of all time.

He selected three players — and one of them was Russian.

Putin mentioned former playmaker Diego Maradona, who captained Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 whilst scooping the award for the tournament's best player.

Brazil's all-time leading goalscorer Pelé, the only soccer player in history to win three FIFA World Cup championships, was also in the mix.

And last but not least, Putin named Lev Yashin, the Dynamo Moscow goalkeeper who excelled for the Soviet Union national team in the 1950s and 1960s.

Yashin appeared in four FIFA World Cup tournaments and is regarded to be one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the sport.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off with a Group A match between host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14.

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