MOSCOW – FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino said on Friday that Russia has hosted the best World Cup in history due to the hard work and welcoming attitude exhibited by Russian organizations on local and national levels.
Infantino also praised the efficiency of the infrastructure and the stadiums that served as venues for the World Cup matches.
“We said we wanted this to be the best World Cup ever and it’s been the best World Cup ever. And we should say thanks to Russia: the Russian Government, the LOC (Local Organizing Committee), the Russian Football Union,” Infantino said in a press conference held at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, where the final is due to take place on Sunday.
“This World Cup has changed Russia... Football is now part of Russia’s DNA. It has also changed the perception of the world about Russia. Around a million people have come to Russia and everyone has discovered a wonderful and welcoming country,” he added.
Infantino also acknowledged the efforts and dedication of the Russian volunteers “who are the smile and the heart of the World Cup.”
The Swiss-Italian president gave his special congratulations to the two final teams, France and Croatia, who will square off in the 2018 World Cup championship match on Sunday in a rematch of the Blazers’ and Les Bleus’ classic 1998 semifinal, which France won 2-1.