It’s started! The World Cup has now actually started! And as far as Russia and Vladimir Putin were concerned it started in exactly the right way.
The hosts were far too good for Saudi Arabia, sweeping them aside 5-0 in Moscow to begin Group A in the most emphatic fashion possible.
There was only ever one team in the game, as strikes from Yuri Gazinsky, substitutes Denis Cheryshev (twice, the second brilliantly) and Artem Dzyuba, and then a stunning free-kick from Aleksandr Golovin secured the Russians a dominant victory which lays down a marker for the rest of their group.
It was quite the day for the hosts, and quite a day on social media too.
Did you see all this stuff?
1. Kyle Walker spots Robbie Williams’ "hello" to Dele Alli
But first the opening ceremony, which was obviously being enjoyed by the England players at the team’s base in Repino.
And they had "one of their own" to watch of course, no matter how many times Harry Kane tries to copyright that song for himself.
Stoke-on-Trent’s favourite son Robbie Williams was playing at the opening ceremony, and according to Kyle Walker he said hello to Dele Alli as he was coming out to perform.
It’s a bit different to Dele’s little wave isn’t it?
Anyway, then Vladimir Putin took to the stage…
2. And for those of you watching in the US…
3. One of the things you may have missed could have been the start of the game (if you were watching on ITV Player)
Still, it’s not quite Steven Gerrard’s goal against the USA eight years ago is it?
4. Are they agreeing to disagree?
Yuri Gazinskiy soon headed the opening goal of the tournament from Aleksandr Golovin’s cross, but it wasn’t without a light air of controversy, as a Saudi defender slipped.
Up in the VIP seats, Mohammad bin Salman – the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – seemed a little unsure about the goal, but his close proximity to Gianni Infantino and Putin seemed to make up his mind for him.
Wise move, Mo.
5. Yuri Zhirkov is still going strong, believe it or not
As the first period wore on, the performance of the 34-year-old warrior raiding down the Russia left started to get stronger and stronger.
And then people realised that warrior was Yuri Zhirkov, who was winning his 85th cap on Russian football’s biggest ever afternoon.
And there was a lot of love around for the former Chelsea man, who had an excellent game, which was never exactly said a lot during his time at Stamford Brifgr.
6. The brilliance of Denis Cheryshev’s touch which took out two Saudi defenders before his goal was…
"The dink of truth" c/o @mrdanwalker
"70% of the goal" c/o a very precise @MadridistaHaven
"World Cup-stopping" c/o @taylorrichards_
"The first touch of dreams" c/o @CallMe_Bel
"Seriously sordid" c/o @HighburyJD
So now you know.
7. Let nobody say Tim Sherwood isn’t an inspiration
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov decided to salute his substitute Artem Dzyuba after he made it 3-0 just 89 seconds after he came on.
Meaning that on the opening day of a World Cup, with most of the globe watching on and excitement at fever pitch ahead of a brilliant month… people started tweeting about Tim Sherwood.
And then Russia went and scored two more.
What a game football is, and what a time to be alive the first day of the World Cup is too.
And there’s still another month to go!
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