And the Russian national team, the lowest team went into the tournament, has exceeded all expectations.
The football World Cup has also sharpened Putin's geopolitical profile. At a meeting with the Russian president in Moscow on Wednesday, American security adviser John Bolton praised Putin and told him he was looking forward to "how you handled the World Cup so successfully, among other things".
This is more than just a diplomatic gesture. In terms of optics, the football World Cup seems to close a chapter that began in Putin for Sochi.