SAO PAULO: The wait is over – the Official Mascot of the 2014 World Cup will be known as Fuleco. The armadillo thus follows in the tracks first laid down in 1966 by England’s World Cup Willie.

Some 1.7m Brazilians voted in a three-month ballot . More than 48pc voted for Fuleco™, ahead of Zuzeco (31pc) and Amijubi (21pc).

Ever since being introduced to the public, Fuleco™ has been making his presence felt by touring the host country and getting to know the people of Brazil. The latest results from FIFA’s independent brand tracking research indicate that 89pc of Brazilians said they had seen the Official Mascot and it scored 7.3 out of 10 on ‘likeability’ appeal.

Environment and ecology are important themes for the organisers and Fuleco is a fusion of the words “futebol” and “ecologia”.

A statement said: “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.”


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