Robbie Williams shows middle finger at opening ceremony performance

Marcus Newton
June 15, 2018

Stoke-born Robbie, who looked stylish in a red leopard print suit, took to the eastern European stage alongside operatic performer Aida Garifullina.

Williams performed a series of his hits, joined by Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, prior to the hosts' opening 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.

Robbie Williams, the English pop-star started the gala with his one of the most iconic songs of all time, "Let me entertain you".

According to the organizer's, the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony will have a slightly different format compared to previous editions of the tournament, with a particular focus on musical acts.

Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium gave a raucous reception as the 2018 FIFA World Cup got under way on Thursday with an opening ceremony to set the tone for the tournament.

Tomorrow Morocco's kick-off game against Iran will take place in the St. Petersburg Stadium at 3:00 p.m.

The Luzhniki stadium hosts the opening ceremony (Picture: Getty Images)When is the World Cup opening ceremony?

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Many were left surprised when Federation Internationale de Football Association announced they had lined up the former Take That member to perform at the opening ceremony.

He added: "We'd like to invite football and music fans to party with us in Russian Federation, in the stadium, or to tune in their TVs a little earlier for an unforgettable show".

Opera singer Placido Domingo, popularly known as "the King of Opera" also performed at the grand event. They will perform this year's official World Cup song "Live It Up".

However, the artist did not manage to entirely steer clear of controversy, thanks to his middle-finger gesture to the cameras, as he left the pitch.

It didn't get much better for the Crown Prince as Russian Federation romped home to a 5-0 win, which raised hopes the low-ranked hosts might progress into the tournament's later stages.

Someone else tweeted: "Robbie Williams giving the finger to billions of people #WorldCup".

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