British pop star Robbie Williams and Brazil’s two-time World Cup champion Ronaldo will be the star turns at Thursday's Opening Ceremony. FILE PHOTO: fifa.com

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Ronaldo and pop star Robbie Williams on stage to kick off World Cup opening ceremony

MOSCOW, Russia, June 11 – British pop star Robbie Williams might seem like the unlikeliest person to kick off the World Cup but, along with Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, the two artists will perform at the opening ceremony before the tournament gets underway on Thursday.

Moments before Russia and Saudi Arabia get the 2018 Fifa World Cup underway they will entertain the fans in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.

The football glory that all players will be hoping to achieve on Russian soil will be represented by Brazil’s two-time World Cup champion Ronaldo.

“I’m so happy and excited to be going back to Russia for such a unique performance. I’ve done a lot in my career, and opening the World Cup to 80 000 football fans in the stadium and many millions all over the world is a boyhood dream,” said Williams.

“We’d like to invite football and music fans to party with us in Russia, in the stadium, or to tune in their TVs a little earlier for an unforgettable show.”

The World Cup opening ceremony will have a slightly different format compared to previous editions of the tournament.

This time, the ceremony will focus on musical acts and will take place much closer to kick-off, just half an hour before the start of the match.

One thing will remain the same, however: the underlying theme of celebrating not only football but also the host country, this time with a touching performance by one of Russia’s most acclaimed young voices in Garifullina.

“I never imagined I would be part of this huge celebration, the World Cup, happening in my own country,” said the soloist.

–  African News Agency (ANA)

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