President Emmanuel Macron leads France's World Cup celebrations

People think Vladimir Putin got FIFA official to steal World Cup medal for him

The Russian president was the centre of attention in Moscow on Sunday evening

The women of Pussy Riot, a Russian punk rock group, rose to global prominence with their daring outdoor performances critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2012 that sent two members to prison for almost two years.

"MERCI" read Macron's simple tweet after the triumph, which no doubt tasted even better coming on Russian soil after Putin's shenanigans during the 2017 French presidential election.

Putin was watching the game alongside Macron and Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino.

After an enthralling finish to the World Cup in Russia, President Vladimir Putin announced that foreign visitors holding the "fan id" could have visa-free entry to the Russian Federation until the end of 2018.

The soccer World Cup final has the highest television ratings in sport.

Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for the four pitch invaders who disrupted the final just after Croatia's goalkeeper saved a Kylian Mbappe shot in the 51st minute. US actor and rapper Will Smith, US singer Nicky Jam and Albanian singer Era Istrefi got together to sing the tournament's official song, "Live It Up". "This is a new image of Russian Federation that we now have".

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He said the tournament had changed the perception of the country around the world.

It's nothing new, nefarious nations using major sports events to give their image a makeover - diplomatics call it "soft power", and Human Rights Watch calls it "sportswashing".

He said the country was "thankful for the millions of kind words that the World Cup guests said about Russian Federation and our people".

"There is some marginal benefit for Putin to having played host to a successful sporting competition that had a largely positive and apolitical tone".

The 40-year-old leader joined Paul Pogba and Benjamin Mendy in the former's trademark goal celebration move - the dab.

After the match, President Macron was spotted cheering and giving warm hugs to their Football team.

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