Former Playmate and 2018 World Cup stunner Maria Liman has thrown her support behind Russia captain Artem Dzyuba after the football star’s masturbation video scandal.
Skipper Dzyuba was dropped from the Russia squad for the last three matches after a video was leaked online in which the big forward was seen pleasuring himself in bed.
The clip triggered widespread debate in Russia over personal freedoms and attitudes to sex.
Now 26-year-old Playboy stunner Liman – who made headlines around the world as one of the ‘sexiest’ fans in the stands at her home World Cup in 2018 – has issued a fierce defense of Dzyuba to her 657,000 followers on Instagram.
“I'm fuming! [This is] an absurd situation. In times of democracy, how is this possible?” Liman inquired, sharing a picture of her bare backside and another image showing Dzyuba performing his iconic ‘army salute’ celebration.
“I was the most beautiful fan at the FIFA World Cup and I followed all the matches in Russia. I am proud of every goal that Russia scored. Without Dzyuba, we would not have won. How can you deprive the Russian national team of the captain for w*nking in his free time?
“’Everyone w*anks when they want’ – is it really not appropriate in this situation?”
Liman, who boasts an account on adult website OnlyFans, claimed that people should be thankful they had seen Dzyuba at such close quarters without having to pay.
“Many people in general should be grateful that they looked at the naked God of football for free, if [Dzyuba] had Only Fans, this video would bring him millions of dollars," said the chesty brunette model.
Liman added: “What ungrateful people... I watched this video a dozen times with pleasure and I’m really glad that the guy has an exciting size and a wonderful erection.
“Not everyone can boast of this in our difficult times. We’re slowly returning to communism and the Soviet Union when ‘There is no sex in the USSR’... Nobody jerks off here, guys!
“What are you?! This is Russia! P.S. I hope you don’t remain indifferent to this situation,” Liman implored her following.
Dzyuba's compromising video was leaked earlier in November after the 32-year-old star was reportedly the victim of a hacking and extortion attempt.
In the wake of the explicit clip emerging, the footballer was also stripped of the captain’s armband by club team Zenit St. Petersburg.
During the team's last game against Russian Premier League rivals Krasnodar, Dzyuba was subjected to obscene chants from sections of the Zenit support.
The striker missed a penalty in that match before recovering to score a second-half goal in his team’s 3-1 win, after which he issued an emotional video plea thanking his fans and supporters.
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The 6ft 4in star admitted he’d made a mistake by filming the clip – which supposedly dates from December of 2019 – but also asserted that “we are all sinners.”
It later emerged that Dzyuba had been targeted by a hacker who had allegedly requested $5 million not to leak the compromising clip.
Speaking in a follow-up interview with Sport24, Liman said she found that entirely plausible as the brunette stunner again threw her support behind the “young and handsome” Dzyuba.
“It's his own business. It would have been absurd 50 years ago, when there was no sex in the USSR,” she said.
“If he hadn't been stripped of the captain's armband, this video would have been gone and forgotten.”
Liman admitted she had long made intimate use of her own telephone.
“When I got my first camera phone, the first thing I did was film my breasts,” she said – adding that she had been impressed by the Russian captain’s physique.
“When I saw him completely naked, I thought, ‘Wow, what a stomach, what a press!’” purred the former Playboy model, who is now based in England.
Rostov-born Liman is far from the only Russian celebrity to back the beleaguered Dzyuba.
Socialite-turned-presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak has offered similar sentiments, and a female flashmob even took to the streets of central Moscow carrying banners in support of the star.
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Elsewhere, a pair of pilots for Russian airline Pobeda are reportedly in trouble for tracing a penis flight route in the sky to show their solidarity.
Dzyuba was named in the Zenit team to face Akhmat Grozny in the Russian Premier League on Saturday afternoon, but was again without the captain’s armband, which has been handed to former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.