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The ultimate football feast kicks off

Robbie Williams at the centre of the pre-match show.
Robbie Williams at the centre of the pre-match show. / EFE
  • Millions from across the globe tuned in as the World Cup got under way at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday

It's the event all football fans have been waiting for. After a four-year wait, the World Cup is finally here and for the next month we'll be treated to a feast of international football as 32 nations face off for the ultimate prize.

All eyes were on Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday afternoon as millions across the globe tuned in for the tournament's opening ceremony before the first match between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The ceremony, which paid tribute to all things Russian, consisted of a series of musical acts, with former Take That singer Robbie Williams headlining.

Some 500 dancers, gymnasts and trampolinists also took to the stage in the centre of the pitch, joined by Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez.

A flying start

They may not be expecting to go far in the tournament but Russia got off to a flying start on Thursday in the tournament curtain raiser against Saudi Arabia. The hosts won 5-0, thanks to goals from Gazinskiy, Dzyuba and Golovin and a brace from Cheryshev.

Tonight, all eyes will be on the Portugal-Spain fixture while England get their tournament under way on Monday against Tunisia.