Football fans can't believe Yuri Zhirkov is playing in the World Cup opener
Finally, we're up and running at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
Minutes after Robbie Williams showed his middle finger to a global audience of millions (billions?), tournament hosts Russia kicked off the tournament opener against Saudi Arabia in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
Let's not kid ourselves, this was far from the most glamorous of fixtures to kick things off. Most watching were probably only doing so for the simple reason that it was the first World Cup game in four years.
Still, at least there were some familiar faces on the field of play. The sight of one in particular, Russia's Yuri Zhirkov, seemed to come as something of a surprise for many of those watching.
Nearly a decade ago, Zhirkov joined Chelsea, spending a couple of years on the payroll at Stamford Bridge before returning to his homeland with Anzhi Makhachkala. He went on to play for Dynamo Moscow and since 2016, he's been plying his trade at Zenit St Petersburg.
Set to turn 35 this summer, many who remember his time in English football were clearly shocked to see him still playing - especially at a World Cup.
Feels like Zhirkov has been playing for Russia since USSR days
— Josip 🎗️ (@jperkovic93) June 14, 2018
Zhirkov still plays football? Lmao.
— El Capitán. (@Preshiouznonso) June 14, 2018
Just two minutes into the world cup and a 47 year old ex Chelsea veteran Yuri Zhirkov has already provided a long pass better than Marcos Alonso has had in two season at Chelsea.
— Nawaz. (@BlueNawaz) June 14, 2018
Yuri Zhirkov starts for Russia. Isn't he like 40-something already?
— Atanda (@1dreezmatic) June 14, 2018
How is Yuri Zhirkov still playing?
— Norman (@The_Chelsean) June 14, 2018
I swear Yuri Zhirkov was about 40 when he played for Chelsea, and that was about eight years ago...
— Nick Parr (@NickParr) June 14, 2018
Can’t believe Yuri Zhirkov is playing here. Not heard that name in years.
— Benjamin (@benianjames) June 14, 2018
Really admire how Yuri Zhirkov has been cryogenically frozen for the best part of the last five years in order to play in this World Cup
— Si Lloyd (@SmnLlyd5) June 14, 2018
Yuri Zhirkov is 58 years old and still repping his country on the biggest stage. Russian Ashley Young.
— Moe. 🇧🇷 (@moeswaidan) June 14, 2018
Yuri Gazinskiy headed home the first goal of the game (and tournament) after 12 minutes. The hosts doubled their lead at the end of the half through Denis Cheryshev.
Russia's game with Saudi Arabia will be the first in Group A. The second, which sees Mo Salah's Egypt take on Uruguay takes place at 1pm on Friday. Morocco and Iran play the Group B opener later in the afternoon with the eagerly anticipated game between European champions Portugal and 2010 world champions Spain in the evening.
England, drawn in Group G, will play their first game of the tournament against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday. Plenty of time to admire that ITV studio some more between now and then.