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World Cup 2022 news and highlights on Opening Day


A general view of the World Cup opening ceremony.
A general view of the World Cup opening ceremony. (Ben Church/CNN)

Of all the people you’d expect to appear at the opening of a World Cup ceremony, Morgan Freeman probably isn’t high on your list. 

And yet the American actor played a starring role as Qatar 2022 got underway, delivering a speech on unity.

Actor Morgan Freeman appears with Qatari YouTuber Ghanim al Muftah.
Actor Morgan Freeman appears with Qatari YouTuber Ghanim al Muftah. (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)

The ceremony raced at breakneck speed through multiple dance troupes, drumming performances and popular music from all four corners of the world. 

Fans were still filtering in as those already in their seats were treated to yet more light shows and massive projections on the field.

The biggest cheer, though, seemed to be saved for a giant flying La’eeb – the popular mascot of this year’s World Cup. 

World Cup mascot La'eeb is seen during the opening ceremony.
World Cup mascot La’eeb is seen during the opening ceremony. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

Less than an hour before kickoff now and there are still some empty seats inside the stadium, but that will surely change as the traffic outside starts to thin. 

Thousands of Ecuadorian fans are making the loudest noise behind one of the goals as players enter the pitch for their warmups. 

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