- Gianni Infantino and Vladimir Putin tour Moscow’s Football Park on Red Square
- Presidents kick-off friendly match between local youth and Legends
- Mascot Zabivaka mixes with other VIP guests and spectators
Young Russian footballers taking part in an exhibition match at Moscow’s Football Park on Red Square Thursday had the chance to show-off their skills in front of FIFA Legends as well as FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
Iker Casillas, Lothar Matthäus, Ronaldo and Carles Puyol starred for the FIFA Legends and they were joined by Russian legends Alexey Smertin and Dmitry Bulykin. The local youth were selected from FC Totem whose players are alumni of the Children’s Home No. 1 in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk. The club was founded by LOC CEO Aleksey Sorokin, who was also in attendance along with LOC Chairman Arkady Dvorkovich.
The two Presidents kicked off the match, having earlier taken a tour of the Football Park, which features a number of highlights including the FIFA World Cup™ Winner's Trophy on display in the pavilion.
“This is the heart of Russia and for these months it is the heart of the world and the world of football,” said the FIFA President.
“The whole world is watching and seeing Russia and what a fantastic party and celebration we’re having here. It has been an unbelievable celebration, with great matches and perfect organisation in a hospitable country. You walk around the cities and you can see men, women, boys and girls with shirts from different countries celebrating together. That’s football.”
The match was officiated by professional Russian referee Mikhail Vilkov. Russia 2018 Mascot Zabivaka was on hand to help entertain the 200 or so spectators.
The players had the chance to take photos with the high-profile guests while also trying to shoot past the fastest goalie in the world - Robokeeper!