First Day, First Show from Russia

As the FIFA World Cup 2018 gets underway, here are some snapshots from ground zero ahead of the game.

British pop star Robbie Williams performs at the opening ceremony prior to the first World Cup Russia Group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. --------------------------------- Trivia: According to Opta, at 38 years and 335 days old, Sergei Ignashevich is the oldest player to have appeared for Russia/USSR at a World Cup (38 years, 335 days). He has beaten the record previously held by the legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin (36 years, 279 days). Photo: Getty Images
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Spain legend Iker Casillas and model Natalia Vodianova show the World Cup trophy ahead of the first World Cup match. --------------------------------- Trivia: This will be Pizzi’s first World Cup as manager. The Saudi Arabia boss featured in one game with Spain as a player in the 1998 tournament. His only previous experience as national team manager was with Chile, who he led to victory in the 2016 edition of the Copa America Photo: Getty Images
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Artists perform during the opening ceremony prior to the FIFA World Cup Group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. --------------------------------- Trivia: Russia manager Cherchesov, he made one appearance as a player at a World Cup. It came in Russia’s 6-1 win against Cameroon on 28 June 1994, a game in which Oleg Salenko scored five goals - still a World Cup record for most goals in a game. Photo: Getty Images
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Peruvian fans in a party mood near Red Square in Moscow just minutes before the opening ceremony and the first match. --------------------------------- Trivia: France were the last World Cup hosts to win the trophy back in 1998. The hosts have almost always reached the second round of the competition, the only exception coming in 2010 when South Africa were knocked out in the group stages. Photo: Getty Images
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A Russian football fan poses at a FIFA Fan Fest at Moscow State University ahead of the first World Cup game between Russia and Saudi Arabia. --------------------------------- Trivia: The game will be the first between Russia and Saudi Arabia since October 1993, when the latter won 4-2 in a friendly. This will be their fifth World Cup - their first since 2006. They have finished bottom of their group in their last three appearances, their best performance dating back to their opening tournament in 1994, where they were knocked out by Sweden in the last 16. Photo: Getty Images
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Russian singer Aida Garifullina performs prior to the World Cup match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. --------------------------------- Trivia: France has only lost one of its last 12 games but was booed in its final friendly against the United States, where it limped to a drab 1-1 draw at the Groupama Stadium. Photo: Getty Images
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Fans enjoy the pre-match atmosphere prior to the match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. --------------------------------- Trivia: Australia have only won once at a World Cup since 2006. Photo: Getty Images
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A Saudi Arabia fan ahead of the World Cup match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. --------------------------------- Although the Saudi Arabia fans are heavily outnumbered, a good few thousand have made the journey to Russia. Photo: Getty Images
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Fans arrive at the venue of the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup. --------------------------------- Trivia: Russia lead into the tournament winless in their last five World Cup games. They've only won twice since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with both of those coming against African teams (6-1 against Cameroon in 1994 and 2-0 versus Tunisia in 2002). Photo: AFP
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