Russia's rout of Saudi Arabia doesn't mean they're any good

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Additionally, if history tells us anything, World Cups are dramatically improved when the host nation does well so hopefully Russia can perform well enough that the Russian people get behind their team.

Russia President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the event at the 80,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The first game of the 2018 World Cup takes place later today and unfortunately it is probably not going to be a memorable one.

Morocco vs. Iran isn't much more attractive than Russian Federation vs. Saudi Arabia.

How can I watch the World Cup Opening Ceremony?

After Russia scored the first goal of the tournament, president Vladimir Putin gave Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman a shrug and a handshake that was captured by cameras. Denis Cheryshev, who came on as a substitute in the 24th minute, scored two great goals, including an absolutely handsome curling effort in stoppage time at the end of the second that is likely to be one of the goals of the tournament.

Saudi Arabia fired Carlos Alberto Parreira after a 4-0 loss to hosts France in the group stages in 1998, even though four years earlier he had won the World Cup with his native Brazil.

Vladmir Putin welcomed the world to "an open, hospitable and friendly" Russian Federation before his country's victory over Saudi Arabia tonight.

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Cheryshev chipped the ball over two Saudi defenders in the 43rd minute and shot over goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf's right side.

The Barcelona prodigy came close to winning the coveted trophy - and with it the $400 million cash prize - in 2014 before conceding a fatal goal in extra time by Germany's Mario Gotze.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, set free after a month behind bars for organizing opposition protests, reports that Moscow's prisons have been refurbished to accommodate rowdy foreign World Cup fans.

It has been a whirlwind couple of days for Spain and their new boss Fernando Hierro as they travelled to Sochi on Thursday ahead of their Friday night clash with Portugal.

On 23 minutes, Alan Dzagoev, the only Alan in the competition, was forced off with what looked like a hamstring injury, breaking the hearts of us Alans all over the world.

He said it was not related to their gender.

The biggest event Russian Federation has hosted since Soviet times, when the United States and others boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics over the invasion of Afghanistan, will put a spotlight on how Russian Federation has, since the chaotic collapse of Communism, resurrected its economy and a tight social order under the former KGB agent.

Each day during the tournament we'll be rounding up all the big stories and best reaction right here in a nutshell, so you don't miss a thing.