The opening ceremony will be held on Thursday at Moscow's 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium, and will kick off at 17:30 local time [14:30 GMT], half an hour before the opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

“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 FIFA World Cup to 80,000 football fans in the stadium and many millions all over the world is a boyhood dream,” Williams said as quoted by FIFA's official website.

Ronaldo, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994 and 2002, said the opening game was the moment “when you realise that the big moment you, as a player or fan, have been waiting for four years has finally arrived,” adding that he was happy to share the excitement of hosting the World Cup with Russia.

Vienna State Opera soloist Garifullina stated that she never thought she would be a part of such a huge football event happening in her own country.

The World Cup will be held in a total of 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15.