The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin says he is sincerely happy to welcome the world to his country, as the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup officially kicked off on Thursday in Moscow.
The president, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the tournament, did not forget to wish every country represented success at the mundial.
“We are sincerely happy to host the World Cup in our country,” said Putin.
“Football is truly loved here. Russia is an open, hospitable and friendly country. Whatever traditions we hold, football brings us together in one single team and we are united by our affection for this spectacular and vibrant game.
“I wish all the teams success and an unforgettable experience to fans. Welcome to Russia,” he stated.
Russian soprano Aida Garifullina and Robbie Williams performed a duet of the song, Angel at the ceremony, which began at exactly 3:30p.m (Nigerian time).
Brazilian legend, Ronaldo was also on the pitch during the ceremony; while FIFA president Gianni Infantino made a speech too.
The ceremony was immediately followed by the opening match between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia at 4:00p.m.
Nigeria is represented in Russia. The Super Eagles will kick off their campaign against Croatia on Saturday, and will play Iceland and Argentina in their other group games.
The tournament will run from June 14 to July 15, 2018.
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