West Philadelphia native Smith described being asked to perform the the official song - released on June 24 - alongside Nicky Jam and Kosovar singer Istrefi as “an honor.” The video clip has been released less than one week before the start of the tournament.
In the video, archive footage of fans of each of the 32 qualified World Cup nations is merged with clips of some breathtaking views of Russia, including Luzhniki Stadium, the venue for the Russia 2018 opening game and final.
ZABIVAKA™ is from Tyumen in Siberia, which is about 2500km east of Moscow. He is very proud of his Siberian heritage and has learned all about the history of his region at school. Tyumen was the first Russian settlement in Siberia, and his family can be traced all the way back to its earliest days.
Being a wolf he is happy to play football in all conditions, but the ground can get a bit hard in January when the temperatures can drop as low as -50℃.
Along with all of his friends at school, the environment has become a subject ZABIVAKA™ is very keen to talk about. Part of his job as the Official Mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will be to promote environmental projects happening in Russia.
He may be a cheeky little wolf but he also cares deeply about the world. He can’t wait to raise awareness about his family’s habitat when travelling around Russia and throughout the world in the build up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia got off to the perfect start for the hosts as the Russian national team cruised to a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, using three goals from substitutes, including two from Denis Cheryshev.
Russia scored just 12 minutes into the match thanks to a header from Lury Gazinsky, but they would need nothing more to take all three points and move atop Group A.
Ronaldo rubbed his chin after scoring minutes into Portugal's opener against Spain, implying he is the Greatest of All Time. Then he scored two more goals, including a perfectly placed 88th-minute free kick that gave his team a 3-3 draw Friday.
Spain, the 2010 World Cup champion, dominated much of the match but was unable to contain Ronaldo.
"When I play against a player like Ronaldo, these things can happen," newly appointed Spain coach Fernando Hierro said. "It's very fortunate for whatever team has Cristiano Ronaldo."
Ronaldo had twice given European champion Portugal the lead with first-half goals at Fisht Stadium, but Diego Costa equalized with a goal in each half. Nacho Fernandez then put the Spanish ahead with a one-timer from outside the area in the Group B match.
Ronaldo became the fourth player to score in four World Cups, joining Pele, Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler. He also became the first Portuguese player to appear in four World Cups, and at 33 became the oldest player to score a hat trick in tournament history.