Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the FIFA World Cup open after a colourful opening ceremony at the 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium here on Thursday.
"The love of football unites the world in one team, independent of language or ideology," the Russian president stated during his speech, as reported by Sputnik news agency.
Artistic performances from UK singer Robbie Williams and Russian operatic soprano Aida Garifullina were the highlights of the opening ceremony. Two-time FIFA World Cup champion Ronaldo of Brazil and Sweden legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic also attended. Former Spain captain Iker Casillas brought the trophy inside the ground. (IANS)