Robbie Williams causes a stir with middle-fingered salute at opening ceremony

39;Global superstar' Neymar is one to watch during the World Cup 2018

Image 'Global superstar' Neymar is one to watch during the World Cup 2018

"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", Williams said in a statement. This will allow more viewers to see it [the opening ceremony]. "At the same time, the action will extend beyond the stadium, encompassing the city and the area around the Luzhniki Stadium".

The event, kicking off June 14, will take place in various cities across Russian Federation, from Moscow to St. Petersburg to Sochi.

Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2018.

The 2018 World Cup kicked off in Russian Federation on Thursday with the opening ceremony, and entertainer Robbie Williams had an interesting message for the world.

"I never imagined I would be part of this huge celebration, the World Cup, happening in my own country", says the soloist from the Vienna State Opera.

"So we hope that they will show us that they can qualify for the second round". This year's opening ceremony will reportedly air a half hour before kick-off.

The former French worldwide, who was part of the team that claimed World Cup glory on home soil in 1998, also said he hopes this year's hosts can at least reach the knockout stages.

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WORLD CUP 2018 PERFORMERS: Diplo and Will Smith are reported to be performing.

As of now there are now there are no plans to punish Williams for his performance, with Putin going on record as saying Williams' middle finger just about salvaged the Englishman's set.

Russian operatic soprano Aida Garifullina then made her way on to the playing field, riding on what appeared to be a large phoenix.

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