Spectacular opening ceremony gets FIFA 2018 World Cup underway in Moscow

 rt.com  6/14/2018 2:32:00 PM  2

The moment the football world has been waiting for is finally upon us as host nation FIFA 2018 World Cup kicks off at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Before the opening game between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia, the 80,000 fans in attendance at Luzhniki Stadium were treated to a lively music and dance performance by UK pop star Robbie Williams.

The pop veteran kicked the opening ceremony off with a blast of 'Let Me Entertain You' - before going into a medley of his hits, including an 'Angels' duet with Russian opera star Aida Garifullina.

There was a dazzling on-pitch light show to accompany UK pop veteran Williams and opera star Garifullina, with colorfully-decorated performers dressed in the colors of each of the 32 World Cup teams bopping to the music.

Williams then made his way around the pitch while belting out 'Rock DJ'.

Official FIFA ambassador - and former Miss Russia - Victoria Lopyreva then emerged with the official match ball for the World Cup opener, while former Brazil star Ronaldo was accompanied by official mascot Zabivaka.

Before the game, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the fans and players, saying: "Russians love football, it is what we call love at first sight, ever since the first official match was held in the country in 1897."

He went on to wish "an unforgettable to the thousands of fans traveling to Russia for the football showpiece, closing with the line: "welcome to Russia." 

Putin addressing the fans at Luzhniki: 'Russian love football, it is what we call love at first sight ever since the first official match held in the country in 1897.

Signs off with: 'I wish all teams success and all fans unforgettable emotions. Welcome to Russia!' #WorldCup

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