Vladimir Putin Gives Ball to Donald Trump to Honour Joint 2026 World Cup Bid

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJuly 16, 2018

US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin smile as they attend a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. - The US and Russian leaders opened an historic summit in Helsinki, with Donald Trump promising an 'extraordinary relationship' and Vladimir Putin saying it was high time to thrash out disputes around the world. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia president Vladimir Putin handed United States president Donald Trump a football when the two leaders met in Helsinki on Monday, in honour of the United States' winning joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Trump thanked him for the gesture and said he would give the ball to his son Barron. He then threw it to his wife, Melania, as shown by CNN:


Russian President Vladimir Putin presents a soccer ball to President Trump to recognize the United States co-hosting the World Cup in 2026. President Trump then bounced the ball to first lady Melania Trump. https://t.co/YsJbL4jucE https://t.co/kRzomhbNtg

The 2018 World Cup in Russia concluded on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. France were crowned champions after beating Croatia 4-2 in an exciting final.

The tournament has been widely regarded as a resounding success, with the hosts exceeding expectations on their way to the quarter-finals before being knocked out on penalties by eventual finalists Croatia.

The World Cup heads to Qatar in 2022 and will then be split across the United States, Mexico and Canada in 2026.

The United States failed to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament but will hope they can take inspiration from Russia and make an impact as hosts in 2026.