Photos | 2018 FIFA World Cup: Opening ceremony highlights from Moscow

Updated On Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

The FIFA World Cup 2018 kicked off yesterday evening in Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium. A crowd of an estimated 80,000 spectators from around the world gathered to witness the first match between host Russia and Saudi Arabia. The ceremony reportedly directed by the Russian state Channel One featured, song, dance pyrotechnics and even pop legend Robbie Williams. Spectators also got a view of the World Cup trophy, brought to the pitch in a Louis Vuitton case by Iker Casillas and Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova.

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British pop star Robbie Williams performs during the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018. The month long football extravaganza kicked off yesterday with an opening ceremony followed by a match between host Russia and Saudi Arabia. Russia laid down a smashing 5-0 victory. (Kai Pfaffenbach / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

British pop star Robbie Williams performs during the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018. The month long football extravaganza kicked off yesterday with an opening ceremony followed by a match between host Russia and Saudi Arabia. Russia laid down a smashing 5-0 victory. (Kai Pfaffenbach / REUTERS)

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The stage looks set in this wide angle view of the stadium during the opening ceremony. A solid 80,000 fans from around the world were estimated to have turned up for the first showdown. (Mladen Antonov / AFP)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

The stage looks set in this wide angle view of the stadium during the opening ceremony. A solid 80,000 fans from around the world were estimated to have turned up for the first showdown. (Mladen Antonov / AFP)

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The World Cup trophy is unveiled to the waiting public in the safe hands of Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, accompanied by model Natalia Vodianova before the ceremony. The trophy was carried out in a Louis Vuitton case. (Carl Recine / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

The World Cup trophy is unveiled to the waiting public in the safe hands of Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, accompanied by model Natalia Vodianova before the ceremony. The trophy was carried out in a Louis Vuitton case. (Carl Recine / REUTERS)

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Robbie Williams sings was joined by Russian soprano Aida Garifullina ahead of the start of the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Williams said he was fulfilling “a boyhood dream” performing at the World Cup, if only as a singer and not with the ball. The singer belted out hits to a cheering crowd. (Antonio Calanni / AP)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

Robbie Williams sings was joined by Russian soprano Aida Garifullina ahead of the start of the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Williams said he was fulfilling “a boyhood dream” performing at the World Cup, if only as a singer and not with the ball. The singer belted out hits to a cheering crowd. (Antonio Calanni / AP)

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Artists perform during the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony, just half an hour before play began focussed heavily on pyrotechnics, gymnastics and impressive musical acts including a performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. (Mladen Antonov / AFP)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

Artists perform during the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony, just half an hour before play began focussed heavily on pyrotechnics, gymnastics and impressive musical acts including a performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. (Mladen Antonov / AFP)

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Dancers perform at the during the opening ceremony at the Luzhniki Stadium. (Grigory Dukor / REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

Dancers perform at the during the opening ceremony at the Luzhniki Stadium. (Grigory Dukor / REUTERS)

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Brazilian football legend Ronaldo (R) waves beside the Russia 2018 World Cup mascot Zabivaka during the opening ceremony. Football legend Pele was expected to be a part of the celebrations but had to give them a miss due to health reasons. (Patrik Stollarz / AFP)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

Brazilian football legend Ronaldo (R) waves beside the Russia 2018 World Cup mascot Zabivaka during the opening ceremony. Football legend Pele was expected to be a part of the celebrations but had to give them a miss due to health reasons. (Patrik Stollarz / AFP)

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Performers from Russia and Saudi Arabia perform during the opening ceremony before the tournament's first match between their respective countries. (Patrik Stollarz / AFP)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

Performers from Russia and Saudi Arabia perform during the opening ceremony before the tournament's first match between their respective countries. (Patrik Stollarz / AFP)

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And just before kick-off, Russian President Vladimir Putin took the stage, delivering a speech broadcasted to billions watching around the world. With that, it was time to play! (Alexey Druzhinin / Sputnik / AFP)
Updated on Jun 15, 2018 10:03 AM IST

And just before kick-off, Russian President Vladimir Putin took the stage, delivering a speech broadcasted to billions watching around the world. With that, it was time to play! (Alexey Druzhinin / Sputnik / AFP)

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