Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pickles - The World Cup's Dog

By far the most coveted sports trophy in the world, the World Cup trophy has a long and interesting history.

The current trophy, which was first awarded at the 1974 games in Germany, is not the same one handed over to Uruguay for their victory in the inaugural event on home soil in 1930.

The original trophy, the "Jules Rimet Cup," named after the president of world soccer's world governing body, FIFA, from 1921-1954, was stolen in Brazil in 1983 after the soccer superpower won it permanently for their third World Cup success in 1970.

The trophy has never been recovered and many believe that thieves melted it down, leaving Brazil with only a replica of the cup. However, that wasn't the first time the cup had gone missing.

After surviving World War II hidden under a bed in an Italian home, the World Cup trophy was stolen during a public exhibition just before the 1966 England World Cup. Fortunately, the trophy was found under a bush by a dog named Pickles before the tournament began (what a coincidence, my family dog is called Pickles too!!!).

The current FIFA World Cup trophy was made by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazazniga in 18 carat gold and depicts players supporting the earth. It is 36 centimeters tall and weighs 4.97 kilograms.

The trophy was first displayed in Korea in 1997 at an event organized by a FIFA sponsor.

As FIFA itself now keeps the original trophy, the champions of World Cup's tournament will take home a gold-plated replica, which is a little smaller than the original.

Under FIFA regulations revised after the disappearance of the Jules Rimet Cup, even three-time champions cannot permanently keep the trophy.

At the foot of the trophy are inscribed the names of past champions. Some information reported that the famous trophy was already full with inscriptions of past champions after the 2002 World Cup.

Wonder is it a "new trophy" for this year's World Cup?

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