The mascot of the upcoming World Cup is Fuleco, the Brazilian three-banded armadillo who also goes by the nickname tatu-bola. The World Cup Brazil Fuleco character is 14 years old and is born on the 1st of January 2000. He is curious, loves to explore, dancing, loves all kind of music, of course Brazilian music is his favourite and loves social media. He admires footballers from all around the world, but Ronaldo and Pele are his favourites. His name is derived from Futebol (football) and Ecologia (ecology): Fuleco. Fuleco is an ambassador for making the World Cup environment friendly. He is the 6th animal mascot featuring in a World Cup.
We take a look at mascots over the years.
World Cup Willie(England 1966)
The first-ever mascot in the history of FIFA World Cups, a lion, a typical symbol of the United Kingdom, wearing a Union Flag jersey with the words “WORLD CUP”.
Juanito (1970, Mexico)
Just like England, Mexico followed the tradition, a boy wearing Mexico’s colors and a Mexican sombrero (with the words “MEXICO 70”). His name is the diminutive of “Juan”, a common name in Spanish.
Tip and Tap (1974, West Germany)
Two boys wearing Germany kits, with the letters WM (Weltmeisterschaft, World Cup) and number 74.
Gauchito (1978, Argentina)
Argentina followed the small boy trend – once again neglecting animal themes – when they announced Gauchito as the mascot for the 1978 World Cup. A boy wearing Argentina’s kit. His hat (with the words ARGENTINA ’78), neckerchief and whip are typical of gauchos.
Naranjito (1982, Spain)
An orange, a typical fruit in Spain, wearing the kit of the host’s national team. Its name comes from naranja, Spanish for orange, and the diminutive suffix “-ito”.
Pique (1986, Mexico)
A jalapeño pepper called Pique became the second mascot produced by Mexico – following Juanito the boy in 1970 – named after the Spanish for spicy (picante). He sported a moustache and wore a big sombrero in an attempt to bring Mexican culture into the World Cup mascot.
Ciao (1990, Italy)
A stick figure player with a football head and an Italian tricolore body. Its name is an Italian greeting.
Striker, the World Cup pup (1994, USA)
When it came to the Americans to produce a World Cup mascot they chose to take the animal path, like England in 1966, but opted for a domestic house pet rather than a national symbol. Striker the World Cup Pup wore red, white and blue and supposedly enjoyed playing football.
Footix (1998, France)
A rooster, one of France’s national symbols, was chosen as the mascot of the 1998 World Cup, with Footix, as it was called, having a blue body much like France’s kit, a yellow beak and red feathers.
Ato, Kaz and Nik – The Spheriks (2002, South Korea and Japan)
Orange, purple and blue (respectively) futuristic, computer-generated creatures. Collectively members of a team of “Atmoball” (a fictional football-like sport), Ato is the coach while Kaz and Nik are players. The three individual names were selected from shortlists by users on the Internet and at McDonald’s outlets in the host countries.
Goleo and Pille (2006, Germany)
The second lion mascot to be made for the FIFA World Cup, Goleo wore a Germany shirt with the number ’06′ on its back, and carried around a football which was called Pille. The name Goleo came from the words ‘goal’ and ‘leo’, the latter being Latin for ‘lion’.
Zakumi (2010, South Africa)
Zakumi is a leopard, a common animal found in South Africa, with green hair wearing a shirt saying South Africa 2010. Zakumi’s green and gold colors represent South African national sports’ teams colors. His name comes from “ZA”, for South Africa, and “kumi”, a word that means “ten” in various African languages.