Natural Goal: Amazing Animal Mascots Of The FIFA World Cup

Footix – France, 1998

Natural Goal: Amazing Animal Mascots Of The FIFA World Cup

What’s a Footix? An improvement on Striker, for one, and France’s entry in the annals of official World Cup mascots! Designed as a friendly and welcoming rooster (the animal symbol of France), Footix’s name pays homage to the words Futball and Asterix, the latter being a favorite French comic-book animation character. Footix wears a French Blue uniform… gotta support Le Team! (image via Martin Belam)

Goleo – Germany, 2006

Natural Goal: Amazing Animal Mascots Of The FIFA World Cup

Goleo = goal + leo… get it? Germany got it in 2006, the 18th FIFA World Cup, that is, and they were determined to make the most of the opportunity mascot-wise. The result was debatable – Goleo VI was a lion (been there in 1966, done that) and he had to share the spotlight with a talking football sidekick (pun intended) named Pille. Amongst some of the criticism directed at the so-called “absolute katastrophe” was that the lion was more closely identified with England and Holland, and also the fact that Goleo was pantless. I repeat, pantless. (image via Alexander Hüsing)