Robbie Williams, former Take That member, has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind.
And today’s World Cup 2018 opening ceremony was no different as he took to the Russian pitch to perform a bevy of his greatest hits.
The 44-year-old performed Rock DJ for the crowds after ITV’s UK coverage of the show ended. In a moment not aired in the UK or British streaming services, Robbie changed the lyrics to his famous 2000 track.
The official song lyrics read: “Pimpin’ ain’t easy, most of them fleece, me every night.”
However, during the World Cup opening ceremony today he changed the lyrics to: “Pimpin’ ain’t easy, most of them fleece me, but I did this for free.”
The popstar then proceeded to stick his middle finger up for the camera to clearly see.
Express.co.uk has contacted a representative of Robbie Williams for comment.
Viewers had mixed views on the moment and flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts.
One believed the moment was a “PR stunt”, as they shared: “Robbie Williams’ middle finger salute was a PR stunt but also a jibe at critics who said he was getting paid a s**t load for opening ceremony. He even changed the words to the song.”
Another said: “Leave the man alone @robbiewilliams yes he gave the finger but he did it in style and he knows very well what he is doing!!!”
A third added: “Imagine flocking the finger at the entire world. Don’t even care, I unashamedly love this man.”
A fourth disagreed, posting: “Not big or clever by @robbiewilliams giving the finger – and why was he dressed as Morrissey? Poor opening ceremony – 10 minutes of Russian culture and music would have been far better than 20 year old karaoke favourites.”
The moment was seen on FOX US coverage of the opening ceremony and appears to have come at the end of the short performance. It wasn’t shown on ITV coverage of the ceremony, which ended after an emotional rendition of Angels.
Express.co.uk has approached ITV for comment.
Robbie performed some of his best-known hits. The former Take That star opened with a highly energetic version of Let Me Entertain You.
He went on to sing Feel and Angels as he was joined on the pitch with Russian opera singer, Aida Garifullina.
The performance was met with a mixed response as World Cup fans seemed confused by the organisers’ choice of the English popstar.
One wrote: “I am sorry did I miss something or was that whole opening ceremony Robbie Williams doing a few songs.”
Another shared: “I find Robbie Williams singing at the #WorldCup opening ceremony a bit random.”
The World Cup Opening Ceremony can be viewed on the ITV Hub now.