A multi-coloured mural in Moscow, depicting goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saving a penalty in the 2018 World Cup, serves as a marker of Russia's sporting success at that time.
However, in the four years since, Russia has seen a decline in both sporting and political arenas.
The country hosted the World Cup and made it to the quarter-finals in 2018, which led to widespread celebration across the nation.
However, today, Russia is viewed as a pariah in the international community due to several reasons including a "state-sponsored doping program" in sports, interference in foreign elections, and involvement in conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.
A report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of "state-sponsored doping" in Russian sports.
As a result, Russia was banned from international sporting events, including the 2021 Olympics and the 2022 World Cup.
In addition, Russia's football team has seen a decline in performance, with their FIFA ranking dropping from 23rd to 38th in four years.
Russia's political decline: Apart from sports, Russia has also faced sanctions from the international community for its involvement in conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and its interference in various foreign elections.
The country's annexation of Crimea and involvement in the Syrian civil war have brought condemnation from Western countries.
Moreover, Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election has led to tensions between the two nations.
Differing characterisations: The article notes that the multi-coloured mural in Moscow displays Russia's sporting "achievement".
However, the country's "pariah" status in international affairs illustrates a sharp decline in Russia's international standing.
While some attribute this decline to Russia's actions in sports, others point to its involvement in various international conflicts.
The decline in Russia's sporting and political standing has geopolitical implications, particularly in the context of the country's relationship with the West.
It remains to be seen how Russia will respond to the various sanctions imposed on it by the international community, and whether it will be able to regain its former sporting and political glory.