Today is the day, the 2018 FIFA World Cup has finally arrived! Right now, Russia is filled with football fans – from all nations – as they prepare for the official start of the tournament.
The opening ceremony always includes festivities, big names performing, cheering fans and of course the World Cup Anthem.
This article will discuss everything you need to know before the first game between Russia and Saudi Arabia kicks off.
Time and broadcasting channels
The opening ceremony starts at 4:30pm (GMT +2), 30 minutes before the first game of the tournament takes place. The festivities will play live on multiple channels for the whole world to see.
Below are some of the broadcasting channels that you can watch the opening ceremony as well as all of the live games:
- Europe & UK Channels: BBC and ITV
- USA Channels: FOX
- African Channels: SuperSports and StarTimes
Performers at the ceremony
In the past we have seen some big names performing at the World Cup namely Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull. This year nothing has changed, bring a magic trio together. Nicky Jam, Era Istrefi and a surprising Will Smith.
These performers will take the stage together as they collaborate to sing the 2018 World Cup Anthem, ‘Live it up’. Will Smith was a surprising pick as he is known for his movie roles, but man does it work! We have a big feeling that together, this trio will get the crowd pumped.
Other appearances you can look forward to at tonight’s opening ceremony include the likes of Robbie Williams as well as Russian soprano Aida Garifullina.
The performers will be joined by Brazil’s shining star and two time World Cup winner, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima – as he brings out the World Cup trophy.
Opening Ceremony Stadium
The opening ceremony as well as the first and only match of the day will take place at Luzhniki stadium in Moscow. This stadium has a holding capacity of 80,000 and it will be a full house! This stadium is no stranger to large sports events in the past, previously hosting the Olympics in 1980 as well as the UEFA Cup final in 1999.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Shortly after the opening ceremony, the very first match will kick-off with the first to teams of Group A. Russia is the hosting city so the pressure is on them to win this game, however Saudi Arabia lost to Germany in a previous friendly by just one point.
Let’s get the 2018 FIFA World Cup started!