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In pictures: How the World Cup’s identity evolved

Official World Cup slogans and mascots distinguished each quadrennial event and were heavily used for commercial purposes

Hind Mustafa

Published: Updated:

Each FIFA World Cup championship has had its unique identity, depicted in its official logo and mascot.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

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Slogan: All in one rhythm

The three linked hands holding football’s most important trophy symbolizes the vibrant, diverse and colorful Brazilian society.

The logo depicts victory and unity, and uses the colors of the national flag, which represent Brazil’s golden beaches and its tropical interior, according to FIFA.

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Mascot: Fuleco - the armadillo lives mainly in eastern Brazil, and is listed as “vulnerable to extinction.”

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

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Slogan: Ke Nako. Celebrate Africa’s humanity - Ke Nako means “it’s time.”

The background colors depict those of the national flag. The figure kicking the ball is a human image depicted on rock paintings, representing one of South Africa’s cultural heritages.

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Mascot: Zakumi - an anthropomorphized African leopard. His name comes from ZA, the international abbreviation of South Africa, and Kumi, which means “10” in numerous African languages.

Watch the extra-time goal which had Spain claim a dramatic 1-0 victory over Holland in Johannesburg.

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany

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Slogan: A time to make friends

The logo shows happy faces all directed towards the trophy, insinuating that competition should not remove joy from the event.

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Mascot: Goleo the lion, and his constant companion Pille, the talking football

Goleo is a combination of the words “goal” and “leo,” Latin for “lion.”

Goleo wears the white football shirt adopted by the German national team between the 1950s and 1970s. He is wearing number 6, a representation of the 2006 World Cup.
Pille is a slang German term for a football.

The mascot’s lack of trousers drew criticism, as did the choice of a lion for not being a German animal.

Watch the penalty goal which had Italy claim its fourth World Cup title after beating France.

2002 FIFA World Cup Korea Japan

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Slogan: 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan

The circular logo was the first to feature the FIFA World Cup trophy as its central feature. The design reflected the universal appeal of the event, and the balance of cultures of the host countries.

The design builds on the “the artistic principles and traditions of Korea and Japan, such as asymmetry, dynamism and harmony,” according to Interbrand, the company that created the logo.

The circular shape has further connotations with Asian culture, represented in “universe, the sun, the world and even life itself,” Interbrand creative director Chris Lightfoot was quoted by FIFA as saying.

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Mascots: The computer-generated futuristic mascots go under the collective name of The Spheriks. They are Ato (yellow), Nik (blue) and Kaz (purple).

Their names were selected from shortlists voted by users online and at McDonald’s outlets in South Korea and Japan.

The mascots live in a place called Atmozone, where they play Atmoball, their version of football, according to FIFA.

Watch the excitging final goal by Brazil's Ronaldo against Germany,

1998 FIFA World Cup France

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The 1998 FIFA World Cup was won by France, the country's first title.

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Mascot: Footix – the football playing rooster.

Footix was perceived quite well with an immediate association to France, as a traditional symbol of the nation. Naturally, its colors reflected France’s flag.

1994 FIFA World Cup U.S.

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During the 1994 World Cup, Brazil became the first country to win four World Cup titles.

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Mascot: Striker - the World Cup pub. A common U.S. pet, wearing a red, white and blue football uniform with the words “USA 94” written on it.

1990 FIFA World Cup Italy

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During the 1990 FIFA World Cup, West Germany claimed a third title after winning the tournament.

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Mascot: Ciao – Its name is an Italian greeting. Ciao is a stick figure player. His head is a football, while his tricolor body represents those of the Italian flag.

1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico

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The tournament was won by Argentina, captained by Diego Maradona at the time.

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Mascot: Pique – A jalapeño pepper with a mustache and wearing a sombrero. The pepper is a a vivid representation of the Mexico’s cuisine, while the mustache and the sombrero are also depictions of the Mexican culture.

1982 FIFA World Cup Spain

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During the 1982 World Cup, Italy defeated West Germany in the final and won the title.

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Mascot: Naranjito – an orange wearing the national team’s uniform. An orange is a typical fruit in Spain, and its name comes from naranja, Spanish for orange.

1978 FIFA World Cup Argentina

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The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands after extra time in the final.

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Mascot: A boy wearing the national football uniform. ARGENTINA '78 appears on his hat. He is also wearing a neckerchief and whip, which is a typical attire of gauchos, the original residents of South America.

1974 FIFA World Cup West Germany

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The 1974 tournament marked the first time that the current trophy was awarded. It was won by West Germany.

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Mascot: Tip and Tap - Two boys wearing Germany football uniforms. The letters WM (Weltmeisterschaft, World Cup) appear on one’s shirt, while the number 74 is on the other’s.

1966 FIFA World Cup England

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During the tournament England won their first FIFA World Cup title and became the third World Cup host to win the tournament after Uruguay and Italy.

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Mascot: World Cup Willie – a lion representing a symbol of the UK. It is wearing the a jersey of the union flag, with the words “WORLD CUP”.