Russia kickstarted the event with bright and mesmerising performances at the Luzhniki stadium at Moscow. Various cultural performances were seen.
The Russian supporters were present in large numbers as they came to witness their home team play against Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup 2018 opening match.
English singer Robbie Williams was the main star of the opening ceremony as he belted out his hit numbers. Russia Opera vocalist Aida Garifullina also pitched in with her soulful performances.
Russia Federation President Vladimir Putin opened the 2018 World Cup to all as Russia faced Saudi Arabia in the opener.
Brazilian legend Ronaldo was the official match ball carrier before the World Cup opener.
Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored two goals Thursday to lead the host nation over Saudi Arabia 5-0 in Group A with President Vladimir Putin watching from the stands alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
Yuri Gazinsky initially put Russia ahead with a header from Alexander Golovin's cross when the Saudis failed to clear a corner in the 12th minute.
After Cheryshev's first goal, Artyom Dzyuba made an instant impact off the bench to make it 3-0 in the 71st with a header from Golovin's cross. Russia eventually went on to destroy Saudi Arabia 5-0 at the end of 90 minutes of the World Cup opener.