The trend to introduce a unique mascot at every FIFA World Cup began in the 1966 FIFA World Cup hosted by England. The mascots are unique characters designed based on the flora, fauna, or any specific tradition of the host country. World Cup Willie was the first mascot to be associated with FIFA World Cup and it was a lion wearing Union Flag jersey and the words ‘WORLD CUP’ written over it. Every year since then, the FIFA World Cup is accompanied by a FIFA World Cup mascot. This article provides a list of FIFA World Cup official mascots from 1966 to 2023 along with the basic description of each mascot.
FIFA World Cup Official Mascots List from 1966 to 2026
Every year since 1966, the FIFA World Cup event is celebrated with an official mascot. These mascot designs generally resembles human-like characters and are mostly targeted at children and coinciding with cartoon shows and merchandise. The table below presents the FIFA World Cup Official Mascots List from 1966 to 2026 along with the host country responsible for designing of these mascots.
|Year||Host Country||Official Mascot|
|1966||England||World Cup Willie|
|1974||West Germany||Tip and Tap|
|1994||United States||Striker, the World Cup Pup|
|2002||Japan||Ato, Kaz, and Nik (The Spheriks)|
|2006||Germany||Goleo VI Sidekick: Pille|
|2026||Mexico, Canada, United States||To be announced|
FIFA World Cup Official Mascots Brief Description
Now that you know about the diferent FIFA World Cup Official Mascots, here’s a little more detail about their description and meaning.
- World Cup Willie- The mascot for 1966 World Cup, World Cup Willie is a lion wearing a Union Flag jersey with the words “WORLD CUP”. The lion is a typical symbol of the United Kingdom.
- Juanito- Juanito (a common Mexican name) is a boy wearing Mexico’s kit and a sombrero with the words MEXICO 70 written on it.
- Tip and Tap- Tip and Tap are two boys wearing Germany kits and the letters WM and number 74 written on them. The WM stands for Weltmeisterschaft or World Cup in German.
- Gauchito– For 1978 World Cup held in Argentina, a boy wearing Argentina’s kit and hat with the words ARGENTINA ’78, neckerchief and whip was the official mascot. A gaucho is a skilled, brave and unruly horseman.
- Naranjito- Naranjito is an orange fruit wearing the kit of the Spain’s national team. The name is derived from naranja, Spanish for orange.
- Pique– Pique is a jalapeño pepper with a moustache and wearing a sombrero. Jalapeño is a characteristic of Mexican cuisine that inspired the official mascot design.
- Ciao- A stick figure player with a football head and an Italian tricolore body was named Ciao and was the official mascot for 1990 FIFA World Cup.
- Striker, the World Cup Pup- Striker is a dog and it wears a red, white and blue soccer uniform with the words “USA 94” written on it.
- Footix– Footix is a cockerel with blue body similar to the national team shirt of France and the words “FRANCE 98” written over its chest. Cockerel is one of the national symbols of France.
- Ato, Kaz, and Nik (The Spheriks)- Ato, Kaz, and Nik are the characters based on popular series Spheriks. Collectively they are the members of a team of Atmosball, a fictional football-like sport, where Ato is the coach while Kaz and Nik are players.
- Goleo VI Sidekick: Pille- A lion wearing a Germany shirt with the number 06 and a talking football named Pille was the mascot for 2006 FIFA World CUP.
- Zakumi- The mascot for FIFA World Cup 2010 was a leopard with green hair wearing a shirt saying South Africa 2010. The green and gold colors in the mascot represent the sports’ team colors of South Africa.
- Fuleco– Fuleco is three-banded armadillo (endemic to Brazil and a vulnerable species) wearing a white T-shirt reading “Brasil 2014”, a green bermuda. and a blue carapace.
- Zabivaka– A wolf wearing red shorts and a blue & white T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Russia 2018” was mascot for 2018 games. Zabivaka translates from Russian as The Goalscorer.
- La’eeb– La’eeb is a white floating ghutrah (traditional Arabic headdress) with eyes, eyebrows and an open mouth and was the mascot for 2022 FIFA World Cup.
World Cup Willie
La’eeb was the official mascot for 2022 FIFA World Cup.
There were no mascots for FIFA World Cup from 1930 to 1962 and it was only introduced in 1966 FIFA World Cup.