Ever since the 1966 Football World Cup in England, each World Cup has had its own mascot. The mascots are designed in such a way that they represent any particular feature of the host country (which may include costumes, flora, fauna etc.). Mascots have been popular symbols of every World Cup and people have loved them and millions of people have bought copies of them.
All Mascots from 1966 to 2010 FIFA World Cups
FIFA has announced that the mascot for the 2014 World Cup will be named Fuleco. The name Fuleco was determined by an online poll in which almost 1.7 million people from Brazil took part over a period of three months, with 48% of the votes going to Fuleco. The other names in the competition were ‘Zuzeco’ and ‘Amijubi’ which received 31% and 21% votes respectively.
Fuleco is a cartoon armadillo, modelled on the three-banded armadillo. The armadillo, which is in danger of extinction, rolls up into the shape of a ball when threatened. The mascot carries the colors of the Brazilian flag — the armadillo is yellow, with green shorts and a blue shell and tail. It is dressed in a white shirt with the words “Brazil 2014” written on it.
Fuleco comes from the Portuguese words “futebol” (football) and “ecologia” (ecology), and it represents the way in which the FIFA World Cup can combine the two to encourage people to behave in an environmentally friendly way.
World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot, and one of the first mascots to be associated with a major sporting competition. The last World Cup in South Africa had Zakumi as its mascot, which represented a leopard commonly found in South Africa.