World Cup host Russian Federation spent billions, but will its economy benefit?

Russian Federation will get the tournament up and running at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday, and it seems things are finally falling into place after what has been a monumental preparation period for the hosts.

The Opening Ceremony will be produced by Russia's Channel One and the "creative concept" will be developed by Felix Mikhailov, who has directed other World Cup events including the preliminary and main draw. Mexico played host to the 1970 and 1986 World Cup.

Smith will be performing the World Cup's anthem alongside Kosovan singer Era Istrefi and Nicky Jam.

Of 1,312 individuals with football banning orders, 1,254 have given up their documents ahead of the tournament in Russian Federation which starts on 14 June.

Federation Internationale de Football Association did not comment on whether the song would form part of Williams' performance, saying the set list would be kept as a "surprise".

The opening ceremony will take place at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

FC Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has warned his Spain teammates about the danger Cristiano Ronaldo poses ahead of their 2018 FIFA World Cup clash with Portugal this week.

Williams said he was "happy and excited" about the "unique performance" in front of 80,000 fans and many millions all over the world and that it was a boyhood dream.

The 34-year-old, who left Barca to join Vissel Kobe last month, has also hinted at the possibility of hanging up his Spain boots after the World Cup.

"We are proud to be able to bring unforgettable emotions to hundreds of thousands football fans and make them feel part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup which is about to start in a few days".

Double Champions League victor Mourinho earlier predicted that England would emerge from their World Cup group as winners - setting up a predicted match with Poland in the last 16.

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