19 | JUL | 2019
The 2018 FIFA World Cup has begun!
Opening ceremony – Photo: Alexander Nemenov/AFP

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has begun!

Newsroom & Agencies
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Robbie Williams and soprano Aida Garifullina were the stars of the Russia World Cup opening ceremony

The 2018 World Cup opening ceremony began this Thursday at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow without much flare but with the performance of British pop star Robbie Williams as the main course.

(Robbie Williams performing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup - Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS)

Williams started the ceremony half an hour prior to the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Renowned Russian soprano Aida Garifullina was another of the main attractions in a ceremony which stood out for its musical performances rather than the large-scale choreographies other opening ceremonies have focused on.

(Russian soprano Aida Garifullina - Photo: Carl Recine/REUTERS)

Then Russian President Vladimir Putin, together with FIFA president Gianni Infantino, officially opened the Cup.

As part of the ceremony, Spanish goalkeeper and captain of Spain's National Football Team – winner of the 2010 World Cup – Iker Casillas presented the World Cup together with Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova.

(Iker Casillas and Natalia Vodianova presenting the World Cup - Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP)

For his part, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto sent the following message to Mexico's National Football Team:
“We have placed in you the hope that Mexico's name will shine. You have our full trust. All the best to Mexico's National Football Team in Russia 2018!”

The Luzhniki stadium is the same stadium where Mexico's National Football Team will play its first match against Germany, next Sunday, June 17 at 10:00 (GMT-5).

If you're in Mexico, the match will be broadcast by Televisa, TV Azteca, SKY, and TDN.


Russia hopes to stir World Cup crowds with spoons

The "lozhkas"—two wooden spoons held back to back and struck by a third—are typically Russian and reflect Russian cultural values
Russia hopes to stir World Cup crowds with spoonsRussia hopes to stir World Cup crowds with spoons


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