Vladimir Putin greeted the world with his World Cup opening speech.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is in attendance for Thursday's World Cup opener between Russia and Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Putin was joined by other world leaders including Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, Armenia prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev, Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko, Bolivia president Evo Morales and several others.
The crowd burst into "Vladimir! Vladimir!" chants as Putin entered the stadium.
Putin addressed the crowd and told everyone to enjoy their stay in Russia, which is "an open, friendly and hospitable country."
This week, banned former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was invited by Putin to attend the World Cup and plans to go.