Every time World Cup fever comes around, we are greeted by a friendly and warm face that belongs to the year’s mascot. Ranging from cute Leopards to Armadillos, the FIFA mascots draw in children and adults alike, from all around the world. This year it is an adorable wolf that goes by the name Zabivaka that we couldn’t help but write about!

What is a mascot in the first place?

A mascot is known as a person, an animal or an object that represents a group or a team on the public platform. This is usually to identify schools, sport teams or societies.

A short history on FIFA mascots?

FIFA has a long history when it comes to mascots, beginning way back in 1966 when the World Cup was held in the United Kingdom which was represented by the British lion. It continued with Juanito in Mexico, Tip and Tap (Two boys) in Germany, Naranjito the orange in Spain and fast forward to the United States to a puppy. The most recent mascots (recent meaning 8 years ago) were Zakumi, a Leopard from South Africa and Fuleco an Armadillo from Brazil.

Who chooses the mascot?

This year’s mascot, since the World Cup is being held in Russia, was chosen by the Russian public including little children to adults who love the idea of a friendly face for all. The mascot was chosen through an online poll. Surprisingly, the first poll was taken among Russian kids who submitted their personal preferences.

Who designs and creates the Mascot?

Choosing the Mascot is known to be a team effort from the side of the host country, which is specifically why the Mascot this year was created by university students, after a poll conducted among young Russian kids.

Who actually created the chosen Mascot this year?

Zabavika, the mascot for this year was created by a student designer named Ekaterina Bocharova who won with 53% of the votes.

Besides Zabavika, which other mascots were competing?

The other competing mascots were a Tiger and a Cat who received 27% and 20% votes respectively.

What does the name “Zabavika” mean?

Zabavika means, “the One who scores” in Russian. A very fitting name for the 2018 FIFA mascot!

What does Zabavika the wolf represent?

The youngest player in the squad, Zabavika is the fastest, boldest and most skillful player of the pack. Wolf’s talent is known to always contribute to the team and their wins. Zabavika is the joker of the group and is known to always get people laughing. Along with being a fair player, Zabavika is said to be charming, confident and sociable.

With Zabavika as the new mascot for FIFA 2018, we expect to see him around a lot more. With pictures around the internet and advertisements along with T-shirts everywhere, we can’t wait to get a glance for ourselves. Go Zabavika!