Europe

New FIFA head tries out his Russian in meeting with Putin

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with FIFA President Gianni Infantino during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with FIFA President Gianni Infantino during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino gestures at his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)

    FIFA President Gianni Infantino gestures at his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino, right, presents a FIFA pennant to Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, after Infantino addressed the upper chamber of the Russian parliament in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    FIFA President Gianni Infantino, right, presents a FIFA pennant to Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, after Infantino addressed the upper chamber of the Russian parliament in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)  (The Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with new FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who tried out a few phrases he has learned to say in Russian during his visit to check on preparations for the 2018 World Cup.

Infantino told Putin during their meeting Wednesday in the Kremlin that "I love football" was one of the things he has learned to say.

Putin said Russia hopes to use the preparations for the 2018 World Cup as a way of strengthening its relations with countries competing in the finals.

Infantino also addressed Russia's parliament Wednesday.

The day before, he toured Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, which is undergoing major reconstruction to be ready for the World Cup final.

The new FIFA president heads next to Qatar, the host of the 2022 World Cup.