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Uefa Euro 2016 Opening Ceremony

Euro 2016: Everything you need to knowIBTimes UK
19:56

Now the time of the French Republic guard to do their thing. And the French air force go flying over the stadium in Paris.

Here come the two teams, which means it's time for me to direct you to our live match blog.

We hope you enjoyed our coverage of the colour opening ceremony. Enjoy the game, too!

The scene inside the Stade de France
The scene inside the Stade de FranceGetty Images

19:54

Balloons and dancers - it's a party-like vibe in the French capital for the moment. It all seems a bit surreal, mind you, as Guetta welcomes Swedish singer-songwriter Zara Larsson onto the pitch.

The 18-year-old star blasts out the tournament's anthem, 'This One's For You', in fine style...

The Stade de France before kick off
The Stade de France before kick offGetty Images

19:51

It's a cabaret-inspired event unfolding in the Stade de France, with Zara Larsson and DJ David Guetta now entering the stage.

The Frenchman has his decks on the middle of the pitch and is playing 'I Gotta Feeling'. Guetta is now playing a bit of Akon, I think, so it's by no means a predictable ceremony.

Dancers on the pitch
Dancers on the pitchGetty Images

19:47

We've got costume dancers with lollies and people dressed in tutus, so it's safe tom assume the long-awaited opening ceremony is under way!

The hallowed turf has, temporarily, been turned into some sort of park and the Stade de France is a sea of colour. All very artsy.

A young fan enjoys the opening ceremony
A young fan enjoys the opening ceremonyGetty Images

19:41

France's star-studded squad are making their way from the field, which means that the fun and frivolities of the opening ceremony can finally begin.

This is set to be a shorter, sharper ceremony than we have become used to, but at least that means you won't be sat round waiting for the real thing (the game) to begin.

Here we go, then...

France fans
France fans at the Stade de France.Getty

19:26

There's a party-like atmosphere inside the Stade de France at the moment, with the hosts expecting a confidence-boosting win at the end of the evening.

In the short-term, though, we're all a bit more focused on dancers and DJs than defenders and Didier Deschamps. Everything is set now...

French fans get ready to party
French fans get ready to partyGetty Images

19:17

Right, then, the stadium is virtually full and we're minutes away from the opening ceremony in the French capital.

This tournament has been four years in the making and the likes of David Guetta have been handed the honour of kicking us off, if you forgive the pun.

Didier Deschamps
Didier Deschamps before the game in ParisGetty Images

19:08

The teams have already been confirmed for tonight's game and for Premier League fans, there are a few discussion points to consider.

If you haven't yet heard the all-important team news, you can follow that here.

A French fan cheers her team on
A French fan cheers her team onGetty Images

19:06

All the focus is on France tonight, but the Romanian's will be following the opening ceremony, thinking this is their chance to burst the hosts' bubble.

Amid a sea of blue inside the Stade de France, there is a distinctive section of yellow, where the Romanian fans are housed for the night.

Romanian fans outside the ground
Romanian fans outside the groundGetty Images

19:00

Not long to wait now, then. And if you're a fan of French DJ David Guetta, you're in for a real treat; if you're not, then... then, let's just hope the opening game itself is worth the wait.

Either way, the Stade de France is set to be turned into a sea of colour as the fans embrace a carnival-like atmosphere in one of the most iconic arenas in European football.

Euro 2016 predictions: Which player will be top scorer in France?IBTimes UK

18:52

Euro 2016 has seen the number of participants expanded to 24 from 16. The much-discussed change has not been welcomed by everyone concerned, including our columnist Steve Busfield, who recently described it as "bloated, protracted and boring".

Well, hopefully, the all-singing all-dancing opening ceremony will be anything but that.

Fans pour into the Stade de France
Fans pour into the Stade de FranceGetty Images

18:47

The big match kicks off at 8pm BST, meaning there ought to be plenty of time for everyone to get themselves in the mood for what promises to be a festival of football over the next few weeks.

The French are, of course, among the favourites to lift the trophy in July. But they have suffered some serious injuries and withdraws over the last few weeks, so there are sure to be a few butterflies in the home dressing room at this time.

They'll be trying to ensure the party-like atmosphere before kick off does not distract them from their task.

A French fan before kick off
A French fan before kick offGetty Images

18:41

There are sure to be some mixed feelings among the crowd in Paris tonight, with all of the pressure on the hosts to kick the tournament off in style.

So, while everyone will want to enjoy the star-studded opening ceremony, the French fans are bound to have one eye on the game later tonight.

Euro 2016 predictions: Which team will win the tournament in France?IBTimes UK

18:33

Good evening and welcome to IBTimes UK's coverage of the opening ceremony of Euro 2016. These events are typically full of plenty of glitz and glamour, so let's hope for something similar this evening.

After that, there will, of course, be the first match of this much-anticipated tournament, with hosts France taking on Romania in the Stade de France. The atmosphere is already building around the ground as the opening match draws ever nearer.

France fans before the game in Paris
France fans before the game in ParisGetty Images