"I hope fans and teams enjoy their stay in Russia, an open, hospitable and friendly country with people who have the shared values. Football brings us altogether in one team, we are united by this spectacular game," he added.
Putin congratulated "the large, multi-ethnic and harmonious world football family upon the beginning of the main global tournament", reports Tass news agency.
"This tremendous sports event is being held in Russia for the first time and we are sincerely glad about this. At first sight football in our country is not the most massive sport, but love for football in this country is real," he said.
"It is love at first sight -- starting from the very first official match that was played in Russia in 1897," Putin added.
"We were making preparations for hosting this grandiose event with responsibility and we did our utmost to let the fans, athletes and specialists to get immersed in the atmosphere of a marvelous football festival and, of course, to enjoy their stay in Russia -- an open and hospitable country, and to make new friends and associates."
Casillas, who helped Spain to win the 2010 edition of the World Cup, was accompanied by Russian model Natalia Vodionova and presented the trophy that the winning team will be awarded after the July 15 final, reports Efe news agency.
The trophy is made of more than six kilograms (13.2 pounds) of gold.
Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov were some of the political heavyweights at the event.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)