The symbolic ceremony to hand over the World Cup to Russia took place at the legendary Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro shortly before the start of the main soccer game in four years. Vladimir Putin, President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff and the head of the International Football Federation, Joseph Blatter attended the ceremony. The FIFA president presented the signed certificate, and the heads of states traditionally signed the footballs of the next world championship. Russia has thus officially become the host country of the World Cup 2018.
"For millions of people around the world, football is the image, and for many - the meaning of life. Brazil raised the bar of preparation for the World Cup high. We will do everything that depends on us, not to lower the bar and prepare for the championship with dignity, in accordance with expectations of millions of fans around the world. We are grateful to Mr. Blatter and the FIFA for the right to hold these events in Russia. We assure you that we will do everything in our power to hold these competitions at the highest, decent level," said Vladimir Putin.
The winner of the now-concluded World Cup - Germany - continues to celebrate its success. Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in the final game. Celebrations are held in all cities of the country. In Berlin, people were singing songs and dancing the whole night, despite time difference. The last time when Germany won the World Cup was in 1990. During the three previous FIFA World Cups, German players won silver and two bronze medals.
The situation in Buenos Aires is completely different. Argentine fans were hoping until the very last moment that their team would win the game and the championship. The captain of the Argentine team Lionel Messi is a four-time winner of the Golden Ball. He was named the best player of the championship, but all these prestigious football titles did not help.
In the center of Buenos Aires, mass riots sparked soon after the defeat of the Argentine team in the final game. At least 20 people were injured, 50 were arrested. Raging and disappointed fan pogromed, looted and robbed shops, bars and even banks, tn.com.ar reports. The police of the Argentine capital were forced to use tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons against the fans.
At first, some fans climbed onto lampposts, cars and were dancing and waving flags, as team Argentina performed very well in the World Cup. However, a group of aggressive fans known as barra bravas started throwing various items at the police. After the police used water cannons, the vandals retreated and started throwing rocks at shops and a theater.
As a result, 15 police officers suffered from the shower of bottles, sticks and rocks.
Germany was celebrating the victory the whole night through. In Brazil, fans were also happy that their all-time rival - Argentina - failed to win the World Cup. The Brazilians were celebrating Germany's victory too.
As many as 200,000 people came from Argentina to Rio to support their team at the final game. Crowds of Argentine fans could be seen everywhere in the streets of the city. After Germany won, tens of thousands of Argentine fans, who were watching the game on the giant screen on Copacabana beach, had to silently watch the Brazilians rejoicing over Argentina's loss.