In pictures: FIFA World Cup 2018 opening ceremony | Sports

The World Cup kicked off in Russia on Thursday as the hosts got the ball rolling against Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow after an opening ceremony attended by President Vladimir Putin and headlined by performances from Robbie Williams and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina. 

Here is the ceremony in pictures:

English singer Robbie Williams (L) and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina perform during the Opening Ceremony before the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018/AFP
English singer Robbie Williams (C) performs during the Opening Ceremony before the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018/AFP
Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas waves next to the World Cup trophy during the opening ceremony before the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018/AFP
Actors perform during the opening ceremony before the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018/AFP
Saudi Arabia fans wait for the start of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018/AFP
Russia fans pose as they wait for the start of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018/AFP
Russia President Vladimir Putin at the opening ceremony at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018/REUTERS 
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