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Russia opens World Cup with fantastic show and spectacular maiden match win

Russia, Moscow, June 14, 2018 - The FIFA 2018 World Cup took off today in the Moscow’s legendary 1980 Olympic 80,000-seat capacity Luzhniki Stadium, featuring a myriad of former and contemporary soccer superstars, top FIFA executives, heads of states and governments, as well as millions of army football fans across the globe.

The FIFA World Cup Trophy – to be contested by the participating countries was brought to the stadium in a special case designed by Louis Vuitton by Russian international supermodel Natalia Vodyanova and Spanish football legend and FIFA 2010 World Cup winner Iker Casillas. The competitions official ball, Telstar 18 made by Adidas, was also revealed to the full-packed stadium.

The opening ceremony, led by speeches by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, started with classical music played by the famous Russian composer, Pyotr Chaikovsky, followed by a performance of Great Britains renowned pop singer Robbie Williams, who entertained the audience in and outside the stadium with his "Let Me Entertain You" song.

"Dear friends, I welcome all guests to the legendary Luzhniki Stadium," Putin saluted the colorful gathering of soccer greats and fans. "I congratulate the whole international football family with the opening of the planets main football championship." Speaking in Russian and English, Infantino also addressed the audience: "Dear Russia, dear friends, welcome to the World Cup in Russia".

After the colorful ceremony, the Russian and Saudi Arabian national football teams, scheduled to launch the contest, squared off in the championships opening match. Russia won the tie five-nil.France, after a month-long contest, beat Croatia in the final to become the FIFA World Cup 2018 champion on July 15 in a thrilling 4-2 score-line game in Moscow.