Russian President Vladimir Putin presented his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic with a bouquet of flowers ahead of their bilateral meeting at the Kremlin. She returned the favor by giving Putin a football jersey.
“This is for today’s match,” Grabar-Kitarovic said as she handed the red-and-white checkered jersey to Putin, with the Russian president’s name printed on the back.
"First of all I would like to congratulate you on the team’s successful performance at the World Cup. I’m sure we will see an interesting game today,” Putin said referring to the final between Croatia and France which will take place at Luzhniki stadium in Moscow.
Earlier, Croatia’s first female president had confidently predicted at the NATO summit that her country would lift the World Cup trophy on Sunday.
Croatia, with a population of just 4.17 million people, has become the smallest nation to contest the World Cup final since Uruguay, who won the tournament in 1950 when the nation had a population of around 2.4 million.