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When is the World Cup 2018 closing ceremony & who will be performing?

20:33 GMT+3 14/07/2018
Era Istrefi, Will Smith, Nicky Jam World Cup 2018
The World Cup in Russia will draw to a close when France face off against Croatia in the final on Sunday, but not before the closing ceremony

After a thrilling month-long World Cup tournament, the final match – to be played between France and Croatia – is set to take place on Sunday, preceded with the customary closing ceremony.

Les Bleus were favourites heading into the competition but Croatia have emerged as dark horses to usurp France's glory, exceeding all expectations of themselves as they become the second-smallest nation to make it to a World Cup final.

Before the match, however, the closing ceremony will take place which is set to feature performances and artists to celebrate both football and Russian culture.

Goal takes a look at who will be performing at this year's ceremony in Russia and more.

When will the World Cup 2018 closing ceremony take place?

This year's closing ceremony ahead of the finals in Russia will be held on Sunday July 15 at 4pm BST (11am EST), an hour before the final match of the tournament between France and Croatia.

Where will the World Cup 2018 closing ceremony be held?

The ceremony will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow – the national stadium of Russia – to precede the final of the tournament. It is the largest stadium in Russia with a seating capacity of 80,000 and has hosted a myriad of global events.

It hosted the opening fixture of the tournament between Russia and Saudi Arabia as well as several group stage and knockout round games, including the semi-final tie between Croatia and England and the last 16 match between Spain and Russia.

The likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Metallica have all performed at the Luzhniki Stadium. The stadium was also the venue for the 2008 Champions League final, where Manchester United beat Chelsea in a penalty shootout.

Who will perform at the Russia 2018 closing ceremony?

The closing ceremony will serve as a prelude for what should be a massive clash between France and Croatia, though limited details have been confirmed as to what will be happening at the event.

Actor and musician Will Smith will be performing the official World Cup song "Live It Up", along with Nicky Jam and Kosovian artist Era Istrefi.

It will also serve as a celebration for what has been an exhilarating event, as well as an opportunity to pay tribute to Russian dancers and culture.

"This is the biggest sporting event in the world. When I was asked to be a part of it, I didn’t even have to think about it. The World Cup is a magical, global energy. I love being a part of it," Smith said.

"For me, I thought the Croatia and Russia shootout was very memorable. The Croatian goalkeeper was amazing. I love Cristiano (Ronaldo). I love that dude. Seeing the things he does and the way he interacts with people, I think he has impeccable taste and style."

Who are previous World Cup closing ceremony performers?

Shakira performed in the closing ceremony four years ago in Brazil (the third successive time she had done so) alongside included singers Carlinhos Brown, Wyclef Jean, Alexandre Pires, Ivete Sangalo and guitarist Carlos Santana.

The Colombian singer also performed at the closing ceremony during the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa, which included a rendition of the official tournmanet song "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)". 

She also closed out the 2006 edition in Germany, performing with Italian group Il Divo.