But as the clock ticks down to the opener in Moscow's imposing 80,000-capacity Luzhniki stadium, the tournament is beginning to catch the public mood, with about 3,500 fans attending Australia's training session in the central city of Kazan.
Apart from them, Champions League victor, Luis Garcia, ex-Manchester United forward, Louis Saha and former England goalkeeper, David James will also feature on the show.
The FIFA Council meeting took place in Moscow on Sunday where FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the new formula will be introduced following the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.
A 48-team World Cup would require extra stadiums and could lead to Qatar sharing hosting duties with Middle East neighbours.
Benzema, who scored in the Champions League final last month and has been a prominent figure for Real Madrid over the last nine years, has scored 27 goals in 81 worldwide appearances for Les Bleus and has been named as the French Player of the Year on three occasions.
Ronaldo called the opening match "very symbolic".
"I never imagined I would be part of this huge celebration, the World Cup, happening in my own country", says the soloist from the Vienna State Opera.
"It will depend on how far we go, how we're going to finish" at the finals, Messi told Spanish daily Sport.
And writing in the New York Times, Julien Guyon raised another critical concern: that the new format for the World Cup group will increase the incentive for teams to help each other and play to a mutually beneficial result during the World Cup group stage.
President Vladimir Putin, who has spent billions to put on the biggest sports event in Russian Federation since the 1980 Moscow Olympics, has exhorted the team to raise their level.
However, there are some teams that can produce incredible performances that could drastically change the outcome of the World Cup in Russian Federation.
Nainggolan is renowned for the quality of his passing and the consistency of his play and is widely regarded as being one of the leading central midfielders in Serie A. He also possesses an abundance of experience at worldwide level and was part of the Belgian squad that competed at Euro 2016.
"It gives, I think, some more weight to official matches and so on but also takes away some of these imbalances we had before", Infantino said.