The World Cup has helped changed people's view of Russia, FIFA President Gianni Infantino told an audience at an event in Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre on Saturday.
Standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, Infantino said the tournament, which ends on Sunday with the final between France and Croatia at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, has transformed "the perception that the world has about Russia".
"We did a good job together," he added, nodding to Putin.
"Thank you Mr President for your kind words," Putin said in English, which he rarely uses in public.
Putin told the audience, which included Brazil's Ronaldo and France's Marcel Desailly as well as Russian government officials, he was sad that the tournament was almost over but he noted that it had helped improve the country's image.
"We cannot but feel sad that this spectacular football festival, which had given us so many happy moments, vivid impressions and new friends, is almost over," Putin said.
"Myths and stereotypes have been dispelled."
The month-long event has been held without major security incidents, while concerns about possible racist incidents and hooligan violence that were raised in the run-up have not been borne out.
Many fans from around the world have also spoken of a positive experience at the World Cup in Russia.
Putin said Russia was eager to see World Cup fans return to the country after the tournament.
Fans entered Russia without a visa, using a fan ID instead - a document mandatory to enter stadiums that proves its holder has been vetted and approved by the authorities.
"In Russia, we are always glad to see our friends, both old and new, now that we have so many more of them," Putin said.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, who oversees sport and culture, told Reuters this week that the country expected the World Cup to lead to a 15 per cent increase in foreign tourism next year.
Australian Associated Press