After four years of wait, the FIFA World Cup has finally arrived. The biggest football tournament in the world will kick off from Thursday in Russia, with the hosts taking on Saudi Arabia in the opening match at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. But before the footballing action begins, the fans will bear witness to the opening ceremony which will feature some of the biggest entertainment and footballing stars. The ceremony will take place in the same stadium just before the start of the match. (FIFA World Cup 2018 Live Updates)
The opening ceremony will be headlined by British pop icon Robbie Williams, who recently helped in creating another edition of Soccer Aid for Unicef. Speaking to reporters, the musician said that it was his childhood dream to perform at FIFA World Cup. “I’m so happy and excited to be going back to Russia for such a unique performance. I’ve done a lot in my career, and opening the FIFA World Cup to 80,000 football fans in the stadium and many millions all over the world is a boyhood dream,” he was quoted as saying by Telegraph. The artist will be joined on the stage by the famous Russian soprano Aida Garifullina.
Apart from the two performers, Opera singer Placido Domingo, and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez will also be performing at the Opening Ceremony. The FIFA organisers spoke to reporters and explained the reason for including classical music. “It is interesting that football events are usually opened by opera stars, because classical music is a universal code understood by residents of every country,” they were quoted as saying by Telegraph.
Apart from Aida, other Russian musicians, including pianist Denis Matsuev, global opera stars Anna Netrebko, Yusif Eivazov, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Albina Shagimuratova will also be a part of the extravaganza.
The final performance will include a rendition of the official World Cup song titled Live It Up which will be performed by the original artists of the song – Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Kosovar Albanian singer Era Istrefi.