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The opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup took place on Thursday, 14 June 2018, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia at 3:30 (BST), about a half hour before the opening match which Russia won 5–0 over Saudi Arabia.
Former Brazilian World Cup-winning striker Ronaldo walked out with a child wearing a Russia 2018 shirt. English pop singer Robbie Williams then took centre stage with a rendition of "Let Me Entertain You" before Russian soprano Aida Garifullina was carried out on to the pitch on the back of a "firebird" float. Williams sang a section of "Feel" before he and Garifullina performed a duet of "Angels" as performers emerged, dressed in the flags of all 32 teams and carrying a sign bearing the name of each nation. Ronaldo returned with the official ball – the Adidas Telstar 18 – which was sent into space with the International Space Station crew in March and came back to Earth in early June. Williams then sung "Rock DJ" in an encore as the pitch was being cleared for the first match.
During the encore, Williams accidentally "gave the finger". He stated on This Morning, "I was under a lot of pressure because there was one minute left, and I didn't know how I was gonna do half a minute. So I just did a one-minute countdown..." Fox in the US apologised for the incident. The incident was not shown on ITV in the UK who had cut away prior to the encore.
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