President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues,
We are delighted to see you in Moscow. Thank you for coming to Russia.
The Portuguese team is one of the most interesting teams in Europe and the world, and it has very many fans in Russia. Of course, we support and cheer primarily for the Russian team, but as the organisers of this tournament, we are also working to create equal conditions for all the national teams, which we regard as friends.
We are assisted in this undertaking by the fans, both Russian fans, who are creating the necessary atmosphere together with the volunteers, and the fans of the other national teams, who have come to Russia and are travelling around all the host cities of the World Cup.
Of course, some teams are bound to and will experience the bitter taste of defeat, which is inevitable at such tournaments, but this cannot poison the general atmosphere of a football festival.
We are satisfied with the progress of the championship, and we are grateful for this to everyone, including the athletes, experts, coaches and the teams’ fans. Our stadiums are filled to capacity, and I am sure that the match your team will play today is sold out as well.
This is an opportunity to meet on the sidelines of this major sports event to discuss bilateral relations. I am very pleased that our trade soared by 37 percent last year.
We are delighted to see you. Welcome.
President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President.
It is an honour and a pleasure to be here today. I would like to congratulate you on the excellent organisation of the championship. The whole world is watching this World Cup with great interest and passion. We, the Portuguese, have a special passion for football, so we are closely following the tournament.
Yesterday I took a walk around Moscow, used your metro and found a great number of Russian fans there who were just so happy about yesterday’s win. I hope to feel the same joy two hours from now, when we take on Morocco.
We might have a little problem if we have to play against each other. Because, as far as I understand, Russia has already secured first place in the group; Portugal will make every effort to also leave the group in the lead.
If this happens, we will inevitably play a match, and even the best friendship in the world cannot rival sporting procedures. Unfortunately, there cannot be two winners: it is either one or the other. For our part, we certainly have Cristiano Ronaldo, but on the other hand, the Russian team is in excellent shape, and it is playing on home ground.
Anyway, whatever the outcome of that match, if it happens, I hope this will not affect our diplomatic relations.
Vladimir Putin: I am sure everything will be fine and our relations will not be damaged, no matter what the outcome of the tournament is. On the contrary, sports bring countries and nations closer together. As the host country of this event, as the organising country, we are happy for anyone who wins, and we feel for those who do not win.
But if we do meet, each of us will be supporting our own teams, of course.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa: Mr President, you have already noted that our economic cooperation is growing. We have a lot of interesting projects being promoted now, in particular in the field of tourism and energy as well as cooperation between universities, science, technology, healthcare, and the supply of certain products. This is a very important sign for our bilateral relations.