"The love of football unites the world in one team, independent of language or ideology," the Russian president stated during his speech, as reported by Sputnik news agency.
Putin said he hoped fans, players and officials enjoy their stay in Russia during the World Cup, reports Xinhua news agency.
"Football is truly loved here and it is called love at first sight, since our first official match here in 1897," Putin said.
"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," he added.
FIFA chief Gianni Infantino also addressed the gathering.
Artistic performances from UK singer Robbie Williams and Russian operatic soprano Aida Garifullina were the highlights of the opening ceremony.
Two-time FIFA World Cup champion Ronaldo of Brazil and Sweden legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic also attended.
Source : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/football/fifa-world-cup/fifa-world-cup-starts-with-colourful-ceremony/articleshow/64592648.cms181