KalingaTV News Network
Moscow: The 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup will kick off here in the Russian capital this evening. In the opener, hosts Russia will play Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium at 8:30 Indian Time tonight.
As many 32 nations, divided into eight groups, will battle it out for the coveted football trophy in the quadrennial month-long event. The matches will be held in 16 stadiums in various cities in Russia
The official mascot for the FIFA World Cup is Zabivaka — an anthropomorphic wolf dressed in the colours of Russian national team. The official match ball will be Telstar 18.
Germany are the defending champions, with five-time winners Brazil emerging as favourites. Top shot players like Argentine Lionel Messi, Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah will all be taking part in the tournament looking to guide their teams to glory.
Meanwhile, an elaborate opening ceremony featuring star singer Robbie Williams and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina, will precede the match at the Luzhniki Stadium here.