Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, right of him, attend an opening friendly soccer match between two children teams and FIFA legends at a Football Park in Red Square during the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The Latest: FIFA president hails 'celebration' in Russia

June 28, 2018 - 7:04 am

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the World Cup (all times local):

2 p.m.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been elusive for international media during the World Cup, but he made a brief exception Thursday.

Opening a soccer exhibition on Red Square with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Infantino stopped for just over a minute with reporters, saying that "the world is seeing what a fantastic party and celebration we are having here."

Infantino last spoke with journalists at the FIFA congress before the tournament.

Infantino hails the tournament as "beautiful, unbelievable, great celebration, great matches, perfect organization, hospitable country," and says it will raise interest in soccer in Russia.

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12:55 p.m.

Kevin De Bruyne jokingly says he has invited some Manchester City teammates to his birthday party.

De Bruyne turned 27 on Thursday, the day his Belgium team plays England at the World Cup in Kaliningrad.

In a tweet , De Bruyne says he invited some of his club teammates to his party. The tweet includes a picture of Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Fabian Delph and Kyle Walker, all fellow Manchester City players who are on England's squad.

Whether they meet on the pitch remains to be seen.

Both teams already are qualified for the round of 16, and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has said it would be "unprofessional" to use players who have yellow cards. De Bruyne is one of those players. A second yellow card would mean missing Belgium's next match.

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