Despite high diplomatic tension between Moscow and the West, world football officials and personalities as well as world leaders have lined up to praise Russia’s hosting of the tournament.
It’s safe to say that Croatia is partying like they won the World Cup.
General view as Croatia fans await the arrival of the team at the main square in Zagreb.
There were also warnings from some campaign groups about the potential for hooligan violence, racist attacks and homophobia. “We showed ourselves as an open, hospitable, welcoming nation”.
“Thank you, Russia, for hosting the best World Cup in history”.
“It is what it is”, said another fan.
The “hottest president” in the world went back home happy.
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Earlier in the evening, Macron had paced nervously and then leaped euphorically from his seat in the VIP section as a guest of Federation Internationale de Football Association and Russian President Vladimir Putin. We have regrets now when we look at [refereeing] decisions, [because] it doesn’t make sense anymore.
In total the pot of prize money for the 2018 finals in Russian Federation has increased by nearly $50m, up to $400m this year compared to $358m four years ago.
Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris featured for France in the World Cup final against Croatia on Sunday afternoon.
Tens of thousands of Croatians gave a heroes’ welcome to their team in Zagreb on Monday after the squad returned from Russian Federation following their World Cup final defeat.
“Hello everyone from the Luzhniki field, it’s great here”, the group said on Twitter, and released a statement calling for the freeing of political prisoners, an end to “illegal arrests” of protesters and to “allow political competition” in Russian Federation. “We now believe that we can”.