Russian Federation declared the FIFA World Cup open in a ceremony full of glitz, colour and some acoustic trouble at the Lushniki Stadium in Moscow.
"I'm so happy and excited to be going back to Russian Federation for such a unique performance", Williams said. Ahead of Thursday's opening ceremony, many onlookers had criticised Robbie for accepting the gig.
However, Williams couldn't resist a naughty gesture as the TV cameras zoomed in for a close-up, showing the world his middle finger.
Williams was performing in front of 80,000 World Cup 2018 crowd at the stadium, and a global television audience of tens of millions.
"We are sincerely happy to host the World Cup in our country", he said.
Robbie Williams will perform at the World Cup opening ceremony in Moscow, two years after his controversial song about Russian Federation sparked anger in the country.More news: Special counsel indicts Russian, adds charges against Manafort
A spokesperson for ITV said it was investigating why viewers missed kick-off: "For a small number of viewers watching the Hub on PC and mobile the scheduled ad break overran by 30 seconds due to a technical issue and we are investigating how this happened".
Either way, Robbie Williams has given the world another hit that we're all talking about, so we can at least take solace in that.
Ronaldo and World Cup mascot Zabivaka made a symbolic first kick with an official match ball - a ball which was sent into space with an International Space Station in March, returning to earth on June 3. Just like Olympics, the event takes place every four years and is all set to begin on Thursday with a starting match between host nation Russian Federation takes on Saudi Arabia at 8:00 PM.
First of all, Williams opened up with a rousing rendition of "Let Me Entertain You", a song which was originally released a year before the 1998 World Cup.
Hollywood actor Will Smith and American singer and songwriter Nicky Jam also performed their official song "Live It Up" along with 500 dancers and gymnasts at the event.
She will perform a duet of Williams" smash-hit "Angels" with the Stoke-born singer, who will also bring the ceremony to a close by singing "Rock DJ'.