Robbie Williams stuns fans after giving World Cup TV viewers the finger

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Robbie Williams has sparked outrage after appearing to give the finger to the camera during a performance at the World Cup opening ceremony.

Football fans exploded on Twitter after noticing the ageing singer stick his middle finger up when leaving the pitch following a performance of his hit song 'Angels' as part of Thursday afternoon's proceedings.

Twitter users were left stunned by Williams' antics with some blasting him for a 'lack of morals' and calling him 'desperate for attention'.

Thousands of revellers packed inside the sold-out stadium to witness the dazzling opening ceremony - which was watched by an estimated one billion people worldwide.

Williams performed three songs as part of the ceremony - with his controversial single 'Party Like a Russian' not included on the set-list.

He didn't manage to steer clear of controversy entirely, however, after taking the decision to raise his middle finger to the cameras as he left the pitch.

One Twitter user said: 'What a joke! Watching with my kids and that happened? Wow.'

While another added: 'Robbie Williams is such a melt showing his middle finger!'

'Worst opening performance ever at a FIFA World Cup goes to Robbie Williams #WorldCup,' another commented.

The decision to book the former Take That member to sing at the opening ceremony met with surprise when it was announced by FIFA on Monday.

The plans for the opening ceremony at the Luzhniki Stadium had been a closely-guarded secret.

Williams - described by FIFA as a 'global music icon' - performed at certain points throughout the scheduled 15-minute pre-tournament build-up.

The 44-year-old opened with his 1998 single 'Let Me Entertain You' at the start of proceedings after spending time on stage with former Brazil striker Ronaldo.

Russian harpist Alexander Boldachev then took centre-stage, with a large 'fire bird' entering the pitch carrying operatic performer Aida Garifullina.

She performed a duet of Williams' smash-hit 'Angels' with the Stoke-born singer, who also brought the ceremony to a close with the hit'.

Former Spain captain Iker Casillas lifted the World Cup in 2010 and brought the trophy out ahead of the ceremony, with the 32 flags representing the competing nations unfurled during the the performance of 'Angels'.

Around 800 people were involved in the on-stage activities, which were held closer to kick-off than in recent finals.

Williams said opening the event to 80,000 fans and many millions all over the world was a boyhood dream, and added: 'We'd like to invite football and music fans to party with us in Russia, in the stadium, or to tune in their TVs a little earlier for an unforgettable show.'


Former Spain captain Iker Casillas lifted the World Cup in 2010 and will bring the trophy out ahead of the ceremony, with the 32 flags representing the competing nations being unfurled during the the performance of 'Angels'.

There will be around 800 people involved in the on-stage activities, which are being held closer to kick-off than in recent finals - with Williams not due to finish his set until 15 minutes before Russia get the tournament under way against Saudi Arabia.

Williams said opening the event to 80,000 fans and many millions all over the world was a boyhood dream, and added: 'We'd like to invite football and music fans to party with us in Russia, in the stadium, or to tune in their TVs a little earlier for an unforgettable show.'yoUqyEC_4q4