Croatian leader Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic hands Vladimir Putin soccer shirt before World Cup final

Updated on Jul 15, 2018 08:05 PM IST

Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic who has been visible during the 2018 FIFA World Cup gave a Croatia jersey to Russian president Vladimir Putin ahead of the final.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (L) offers to Russian President Vladimir Putin a jersey of the Croatian national football team bearing the name Putin, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia, during their meeting at the Kremlin.(AFP)
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (L) offers to Russian President Vladimir Putin a jersey of the Croatian national football team bearing the name Putin, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia, during their meeting at the Kremlin.(AFP)
Reuters, Moscow | ByReuters

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a Croatian football shirt with the name “Putin” printed on the back on Sunday, hours before Croatia play France in the World Cup final in Moscow.

Croatia has been caught up in football fever after the Balkan nation of 4.2 million people swept aside more fancied opponents to reach its first ever World Cup final, which Russia is hosting this year.

Grabar-Kitarovic has, herself, entered into the spirit of the occasion, travelling to Russia to watch matches and dressing in the colours of the national flag. Croatia knocked Russia’s team out of the competition in the quarter-finals.

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At a Kremlin meeting, Putin congratulated the Croatian president on the Croatian team’s performance.

“I’m sure we will see a beautiful game today,” he said. Grabar-Kitarovic thanked Putin for what she said was the successful organisation of the competition.

Putin presented her with a bouquet of flowers, while she gave the Russian leader the Croatian national shirt.

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