MOSCOW, July 18 (Sputnik) - The visitors of the 2018 FIFA World Cup got to see the real Russia rather than an "artificial" showcase for the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
The president also said he was happy that the football fans, who came to Russia to attend this summer's tournament, appreciated the way it was organized.
"Our guests saw not some kind of showcase, not some kind of artificial, cosmetic virtual world, created for a short period of time. No, everything was for real, as we say. The country is changing. This is a constant, long-term course. We are investing a lot of money and efforts," Putin said at the Moscow Urban Forum.
He added that the investments should boost the quality of life in the country and create "broad opportunities for self-realization of each individual."
Russia hosted its first World Cup from June 14 to July 15 with the games played in 11 cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, and Sochi.