Robbie Williams performed at the lavish opening ceremony of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium and gave a single-digit salute on camera.
This indeed stirred up some heated international controversy as fans started questioning who the gesture was directed towards. He has gained worldwide criticism because according to assumptions, the gesture was towards the Russian President Vladimir Putin who was also present at the event.
However, Williams had other intentions in mind when he made the gesture. During an interview with ITV’s This Morning Show, the Take That singer revealed he was signaling that there was a minute until the game kicked-off. He said:
I was under a lot of pressure because there was one minute left, and I didn’t know how I was going to do a half a minute countdown, so I just did a one-minute countdown. I can’t trust me. I don’t know what I’m going to do at any time.
Nothing actually pops into my head, it’s like there’s a block between me and sense… then something happens, and five minutes later I’m like, ‘Did I…? Yeah, I did,’
Williams who also shared that it was his dream to be asked to perform at the ceremony entertained over 80,000 fans at the stadium and millions of people all over the world on TV with opera singer Aida Garifullina.
Watch the full opening ceremony performance here
Apart from the controversy, his performance alongside Aida Garifullina at the opening ceremony of football’s biggest stage was terrific and fans can’t wait to see him perform again at the event.