30 May, 2014 - 15:27

Official World Cup mascots


Fuleco the Armadillo has become an official mascot of 2014 World Cup in Brazil courtesy of an initiative from one of the nature-preserving organizations. We’d like to take a look at previous mascots, who accompanied previous World Championships.

1966. World Cup Willie the lion

Many things happened at the 1966 World Cup for the first time. For the first time people could watch football on TV in color. For the first time the inventors of the game won the tournament. It was the first World Cup that had its own mascot. Quite predictably, a national symbol, lion, wearing the national colors, was chosen as a mascot. But Willie was a commercial success, earning around 6 million pounds for the hosts. And he helped England clinch the trophy.


1970. Juanito

The Mexicans made a strange choice. A boy, wearing a national hat, sombrero, became an official mascot. Juanito was his name. The first human mascot was also a success, but Mexico failed at the tournament.


1974. Tip and Tap

The Germans opted not to change the chicken that brings you golden eggs but went further and created two boys, Tip and Tap. Replica merchandise brought them over 7 million marks. Germany won the title.


1978. Gauchito

The Argentines never tried to be creative and almost made a copy of Juanito, changing the color of the shirt and replacing sombrero with traditional gaucho hat. However, the legend had it that he was a son of Gaucho, who robbed the rich and gave money away to the poor.


1982. Naranjito the orange

The Spaniards put an end to the era of mascot boys by introducing an orange (naranja - sp.) as a mascot.


1986. Pique the pepper

The Mexicans, who hosted their second championship in 16 years, opted to ask a
Brazilian artist to make something up. He came up with a pepper, named Pique, which derives from Spanish word ‘picante’ (spicy, en.). However, the pepper was wearing a sombrero, and naturally there was a joke about Juanito’s hard life that turned him into a green pepper with moustache.


1990. Ciao the stick figure

The Italians were the discoverers of mascots-mutants. They used a stick figure, painted green, white and red, with a ball-head. Name ‘Ciao’ is one of the most commonly used words in Italy, which means ‘hi’.


1994. Striker the dog

Walt Disney studio created a mascot for 1994 World Cup in USA. It was a dog named Striker, wearing the US team shirt. Striker became one of the most successful mascots, having earned around 11 million dollars.


1998. Footix the rooster

1998 World Cup symbol is simple and elegant, like everything French. A Gallic rooster has symbolized France for centuries, so there was no question what would be the mascot. The name Footix derives from ‘football’ and suffix ‘ix’, common for Gallic names. The rooster helped Les Bleus clinch their first ever title.


2002. Ato, Kaz and Nik the aliens

The hosts from East Asia invented the trio of aliens, named Ato, Kaz and Nik, who were commercial flops.


2006. Goleo VI and Pille

Failure of Asian aliens made the Germans return to zoological ideas. The lion Goleo played with a football called Pille. However, Goleo was not a success as he resembled people of the British lion. Besides, to the surprise of many children, he was not wearing underwear.


2010. Zakumi the leopard

The first African World Cup was accompanied by a leopard called Zakumi. ‘ZA’ is an international code for South Africa, while ‘kumi’ stands for ‘10’ in Afrikaans.


Photo: oleole.com; afoolintheforest.com; zenitbol.ru; animal.ru; soccer.ru; mundialrussia.com; sportsdaily.ru; theibug.com; pobeda2018.ru

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1 June 2014, 18:26

At the world championship in 2010, was another symbol, informal, is the trumpet of the vuvuzela. The pipe had a very unpleasant sound. But this sound was compensated by the victory of the national team of Spain, what I wanted

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2 June 2014, 05:46

All very cute mascots.

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