The wait is over: the Official Mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ has a name, with more than 1.7 million people voting for Fuleco™.
Who I Am?
I was born on the 1st January 2000 (the very first Brazilian three-banded armadillo to be born in the new millennium!) and I will be 14 years old by the time of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.
What do I like?
I am curious (nosy!) and love to explore, I am adventurous! Unlike most armadillos, I am really sociable, love dancing and all types of music, of course Brazilian music is my favourite! I love to keep up to date with my family and friends, especially through social media, when I am traveling around Brazil.
Communicating the importance of the environment and ecology is a key objective of the next FIFA World Cup. Recent results from FIFA’s 2012 public opinion tracker in Brazil also confirm the importance of the topic of sustainability and the environment among fans in the host country. Over 90 per cent of Brazilians believe that Brazil 2014 should be environmentally friendly.
As one of the most high-profile ambassadors of the event and a member of a vulnerable species, the Official Mascot can play a key role in driving environmental awareness. The name Fuleco™ is a fusion of the words 'futebol' and 'ecologia'. This seamlessly represents the way in which the FIFA World Cup can combine the two to encourage people to behave in an environmentally friendly way. In voting for the name Fuleco™, the Brazilian population has clearly demonstrated an affinity for both themes that the name epitomises.
Part of FIFA’s brand tracking study also investigated the key characteristics of Fuleco™ that resonate among the public. The results are encouraging as 'Brazilian', 'nature', 'friendly' and 'passion for football' come out top in terms of traits that best describe him. This clearly shows that Brazilians already recognise the significance of the armadillo as an important ambassador for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and his role in inspiring fans all over the world with his passion for the sport and his country.
The adidas brazuca, the Official Match Ball for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, was given a fittingly spectacular launch on Tuesday 3 December. The iconic Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro provided a picturesque venue, while a breathtaking 3D light projection show wowed attendees including former Netherlands international Clarence Seedorf and Brazil great Cafu.
The brazuca, which means 'Brazilian' and refers to the Brazilian way of life, is the most-tested adidas ball in history. It was, over a two-and-a-half-year period, tried out by over 600 of the world’s top players or former players including Iker Casillas, Dani Alves, Lionel Messi, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Zinedine Zidane, and 30 teams in ten countries across three continents.
The brazuca was also used at a selection of international football matches, albeit with a different design, including a friendly between Sweden and Argentina last February.
The brazuca’s colours and ribbon design of the ball panels symbolise the traditional multi-coloured wish bracelets worn in the country, in addition to reflecting the vibrancy and fun associated with football in the South American country. It has a new structural innovation, with a unique symmetry of six identical panels alongside a different surface structure will provide improved grip, touch, stability and aerodynamics on the pitch.
adidas’ series of Official Match Balls have a unique place in FIFA World Cup history and, according to some of the men expected to use it at Brazil 2014, the brazuca is set to create its own legacy just as the likes of the Telstar, Tango and Tricolore did previously.
"The brazuca has a stunning design that feels inspired by Brazil,” said Casillas. “Now the ball has been launched, the tournament feels a lot closer. I'm looking forward to playing in Brazil with a great ball.
”Dani Alves added: “My first impression of the brazuca is of a ball that is fantastic, and we're going to have a lot of fun with it. adidas has created an incredible-looking ball fitting for a tournament as big as the FIFA World Cup. Most importantly, it plays well on the ground and in the air. I'm sure all the players will love it! It's increased my levels of excitement even further and I honestly can’t wait for the opening game!"
The brazuca will be available to purchase globally from Wednesday 4 December in selected adidas retail outlets, associated stockists and via FIFA.com’s official Store. Furthermore, any child born in Brazil on 3 December, the day of its official launch, was entitled to a free Brazuca courtesy of adidas.