Zabivaka the wolf followed in the footsteps of Naranjito the orange, Footix the football-playing rooster and Fuleco the armadillo by being named as the official mascot of the 2018 World Cup.
The wolf, whose name according to FIFA means “the one who scores”, received 53 per cent of the more than one million votes cast in a poll, beating a tiger (27 percent) and a cat (20 percent).
“I am sure Zabivaka will be a massive hit among fans at the Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia,” said Mutko, who is also head of the Russian Football Union (RFU) and the local organising committee.
Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup in 11 cities including Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi.
Zabivaka’s biography on Fifa.com:
- He is charming, confident and social and has always dreamt of becoming a football star.
- His favourite sporting pastime is playing football. He is a fair player, values his team members and respects his opponents, and he plays with skill and purpose.
- He is always fun to be around – as the joker in the pack, he knows how to make others laugh.
- He has taken to wearing cool sports glasses when he’s in action; he believes they give him special targeting powers on the pitch. And he loves to pose for photos.