The World Cup got underway this afternoon with a short and sweet opening ceremony, with Robbie Williams dominating the centre of the park with a short medley of his hits.
Where previous ceremonies have featured lengthy performance art projects about the environment, the football family and children being the future, this Russian effort was snappy: long of energy, and short on too much tree-hugging.
Williams was excellent, there were representatives from the competing countries, and a giant fire bird made out of crepe paper.
Ronaldo (the Brazil one) did a bit of mucking about with a penalty shootout and the mascot, and that was about it.
There were no speeches during the ceremony segment, although President Putin did give a welcome before the match itself.
“Football is truly loved here and it is called love at first sight, since our first offical match here in 1897.
“I hope fans and teams enjoy their stay in Russia, an open, hospitable and friendly country with people who have the shared values.
“Football brings us altogether in one team, we are united by this spectacular game.”
and exactly 4pm the match between Russia and Saudi Arabia took off…