Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino have spoken during the long-awaited ceremony.
According to Putin, "love for football unites the whole world in one team, regardless of language, traditions, faith and ideology."
"In this unity, which is not dominated either by differences in languages, or in ideologies, or in faith, lies the great power of football, of sport in general," he added.
"We have been preparing to host this grand event responsibly and have done our best so that the fans, athletes and experts could immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the magnificent football festival and, of course, enjoy their stay in Russia — open, hospitable, and friendly," the Russian president stressed.
The opening ceremony was also attended Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Abkhazian President Raul Khajimba, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, and President of the Presidium of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Nam.