The national anthems were then played, and sung gustily, handshakes were made and the 2018 World Cup’s first game kicked off with a match ball that spent March orbiting the earth in the International Space Station.
The competition is set to kick off today (June 14) with an opening game between Saudi Arabia and Russia (who is playing host) at the 80,000 capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia.
Football fans took to Twitter after noticing him stick his middle finger up when leaving the pitch following his performance.
“We are sincerely happy to host the World Cup in our country”, he said.
Nigera begin their conquest of Group D on Saturday against the 20th ranked Croatia.
Although opening ceremonies can sometimes be long and drawn out-see World Cup 1994 in the United States-hosts Russian Federation proved there is a way to begin festivities swiftly.
In March, foreign secretary Boris Johnson likened the way Putin is promoting the World Cup in Russian Federation to Adolf Hitler’s notorious use of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
“‘Party Like A Russian'” was a big hit for me, it was like my biggest hit here in Russia, so I’m really pleased”, Williams said.
Unlike previous editions, this year’s opening ceremony will take place just half hour before the curtain-raiser match, with a stronger focus on musical acts.
Talking of a love of soccer uniting the planet “as one team”, Mr Putin said: “In this unity, over which no powers reign, in which there are no differences of language, of ideology or of faith, lies the great power of football, and of all sport.”
Hollywood actor Will Smith and American singer and songwriter Nicky Jam also performed their official song “Live It Up” along with 500 dancers and gymnasts at the event.
You can find a full schedule for the World Cup games here.
The 2026 edition is set to be the first tournament with 48 teams playing 80 matches over 34 days after Federation Internationale de Football Association implemented a restructure to the contest past year.
Robbie Williams caused controversy by swearing during the World Cup opening ceremony in Russian Federation, while singing his hit “Rock DJ” for millions of viewers around the world.
Instead, many viewers spent the opening minutes of ITV’s World Cup coverage simply admiring their fancy Red Square studio.