From Willy to Leaib.. Learn about the ancient history of the World Cup mascots

Only 187 days separate the world from Qatar’s organization of the 2022 World Cup (November 21 – December 18), the World Cup that the Gulf state pledges to bring out in the best way and make it the best throughout the history of the prestigious tournament.

In the context of preparations for the World Cup, Qatar unveiled on the first of last April the 2022 World Cup mascot, which bore the name “Laib”, amid the admiration of many observers in the world.

According to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the talisman “Laib” is a virtual character with a spirit of adventure, exploration and assistance, and bears the qualities of courage and inspiration, and aims to break the barriers of time and space in order to gather all countries around the world in one region, which is Qatar.

Winwin presents, through this report, a historical review of the World Cup mascots, from the first moments of the World Cup to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Unseen attempts

The mascot is a character that is designed exclusively as a special symbol of sports tournaments and football in particular, most notably the World Cup. It is also an important marketing tool for the World Cup, as history perpetuates each of the World Cup mascots, according to the degree of its impact or the interaction of the masses with it.

The official mascot for the Qatar 2022 World Cup (Twitter/ roadto2022)

Some countries tried to create amulets to compete with the World Cup that they hosted, such as Sweden in 1958 or Chile in 1962, but these attempts did not see the light well, so distorted copies of those amulets appeared that were soon forgotten, especially since the International Football Association did not adopt them in those days. catch him.

The first amulet

The World Cup mascot appeared for the first time, in the World Cup in England in 1966 under the name “Willie”, which is a lion wearing a British shirt, with the words World Cup written on it. Willie then turned into a godfather in this field.

15 official amulet

Throughout the 92-year history of the World Cup, the FIFA has adopted 15 official mascots, as a symbol that refers to the traditions and customs of the country hosting the World Cup, which is clearly visible in the Qatar 2022 World Cup mascot, as a symbol of Arab culture, customs and traditions in general and Qatar in particular. .

Previous amulets

After England 1966, the mascot “Juanito” appeared in the World Cup in Mexico in 1970, a young boy characterized by beauty and handsomeness, wearing a green shirt symbolizing the Mexico national team, and the “sombrero” the famous Mexican hat, as the organizers of the tournament put the name Mexico 70 on it.

In Germany 1974, the amulet of “Tip and Tap” appeared, two young men, the first tall and blond, the second short and dark-skinned, in reference to the rupture that Germany was experiencing, and its division between West Germany and East Germany at that time.

In Argentina 1978, the mascot “Gauchito”, a boy who represents the traditions and rural customs of Argentina, appeared by wearing a hat and handkerchief and possessing a bat and a whip.

As for Spain 1982, it revealed the “Naranjito” mascot, which is a anthropomorphic of the orange fruit shown in the Spanish national team shirt and carrying a soccer ball.

Mexico returned to present the mascot “Pique” in 1986, followed by the mascot “Chao” in Italy in 1990, the dog mascot “Stryker” in the United States of America 1994, and the mascot “Photex” for France 1998, and other distinctive mascots in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. The mascot is called “Kaz Nik and Ato”.

The mascots of the following tournaments bore the names of animals, such as the mascot of the lion in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, which bore the name “Gulio and Bell.” Fuleko”, to the mascot of the World Cup Russia 2018, which was a wolf named “Zapivaka”.

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