The game kicked off with the speech by Dmitry Azarov, the acting governor of the Samara region.
"I know that today is a very important day for the Samara region. Today we are taking another step toward our dream — the dream to host the World Cup on Samara’s soil," Azarov said.
Honored veterans of the Samara football, namely Andrei Karyaka, Ravil Aryapov, and Valerjan Panfilov, hit the ball as the symbolic start of the match.
Russia will host its first FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15. The matches will take place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, and Sochi.