Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday symbolically handed over the World Cup to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, whose country will host the 2018 tournament.
The two leaders were joined by FIFA president Sepp Blatter for the ceremony inside the legendary Maracana Stadium before the Germany-Argentina final in Rio de Janeiro. (Germans Beat Argentina to Win Fourth World Cup Title)
"I want to congratulate President Rousseff on how the World Cup was organized," Putin said in a FIFA statement. "We will do all we can to organize the event on the highest level."
Blatter presented a signed certificate to mark the handover, while the two presidents were given official match balls.
In a separate statement, Rousseff said the country had held a successful World Cup "that was not perfect only because the sixth championship did not happen" for Brazil's national team.
"Brazilians of all stripes of this immense and beloved country invite all of you to come back for the Olympics and Paralympic games (in Rio) in 2016, which we will host with the same competence and hospitality given during the World Cup," she said.