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Drummer boy Ronaldinho signals closure of FIFA World Cup 2018

Brazil football star Ronaldinho joined the closing ceremony proceedings pitch side, playing a drum to bring an end to the FIFA World Cup 2018.

football Updated: Jul 15, 2018 23:08 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Bhargab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, Moscow
Ronaldinho,FIFA World Cup 2018,FIFA World Cup final
Former Brazilian football player Ronaldinho, surrounded by photographers, played drums as he took part in the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.(AP)

Brazil football great Ronaldinho was the main attraction in the brief closing ceremony held moments before kick-off to the final at the Luzhniki Stadium here on Sunday.

Russian soprano and soloist Aida Garifullina started the proceedings with a rendition of ‘Moscow never sleeps’ alongside Russian artist DJ Smash.

The ceremony paid tribute to all the 32 participating countries and 11 host cities before American singer Nicky Jam performed the number ‘X’.

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Jam was accompanied by Albanian songwriter Era Istrefi and American actor Will Smith as they sang the anthem of the World Cup ‘Live it up’.

Garifullina then returned for a historical Russian folk song, ‘Kalinka’.

Ronaldinho later joined the proceedings on the pitch-side, playing a drum to bring an end to the ceremony. His appearance was met with a giant roar of approval from the 81,000-strong crowd at the stadium.

Like the opening ceremony last month, it was a short, 15-minute affair.

FIFA had earlier drawn criticism for scheduling long ceremonies before the opening and final World Cup matches.

READ | Own goal and VAR technology make debut at FIFA World Cup final

This time that was not the case.

With minutes to the start of the title clash, 2014 Germany World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm and Russian supermodel Natalia Vodionova brought the gleaming trophy to the pitch.

Croatian fans unfurled a huge banner at one end of the stadium. ‘Jedno srce! Jedna snaga! Moja zemlka Hrvatska!’ (One heart! One power! My country Croatia!), it read.

First Published: Jul 15, 2018 22:49 IST