In more than 20 years of living in Moscow, I cannot remember a time when the city has felt more relaxed, more cosmopolitan, more welcoming.
"I thank the Russian people for their hospitality," England supporter Darren from Blackpool told me near Red Square. "Everything the British government has said about Russia is a lie. It's propaganda. Fair play to Putin. He's done a brilliant job with the World Cup."
One of the lasting images of this tournament is that of a smiling Vladimir Putin basking in the glory of his World Cup, as he chats to a group of footballing legends.
A successful World Cup does not change the trend: in recent years democracy, human rights and freedom of speech in Russia have been under attack.
World Cup 2018 never ends!
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