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See Top Ten World Cup mascots

Posted by Tokabaut Monday, June 7, 2010

1. World Cup Willie, England 1966

THE first mascot to be used in a major sporting event and by far the best of the lot.

Willie was also the subject of a World Cup song and countless merchandise spin-offs.

And of course this was the World Cup that England won — enough said!
2. Ciao, Italy 1990
THIS minimalist design classic could only come from Italy.

This was the tournament where England reached the semi-finals only to be cruelly dumped out on penalties by old foes the Germans.

Nostalgia — we love it!

3. Pique, Mexico 1986

THE Mexicans paved the way in reinforcing national stereotypes with Pique.

To be fair, they were handed the World Cup after Colombia pulled out and probably had little time to prepare.

Which may explain why their mascot is a jalapeno pepper sporting a moustache and wearing a sombrero hat.

4. Gauchito, Argentina 1978

THIS classic design features a happy child, this time wearing an Argentina kit.

He sports a hat, neckerchief and whip which are apparently typical of a gaucho — a kind of South American cowboy.

The host nation, featuring Ossie Ardiles and Ricardo Villa, won this one.

5. Juanito, Mexico 1970

THIS smug-looking little chap is wearing a Mexico kit and a sombrero.

The greatest World Cup of them all, featuring defending champions England who lost to eventual winners Brazil.

This was a record third win for the Samba stars, who got to take the famous Jules Rimet Cup home with them.

6. Naranjito, Spain 1982

ALL hail the Spanish who provided the 1982 tournament with a smiley orange.

Credit to them for putting their faith in a jolly citrus fruit with red cheeks.

The Spanish made a swift exit after the second phase of the tournament.

They weren't as good then as they are now.

7. Tip and Tap, West Germany 1974
NOW this is a creepy one. 

It shows two little boys, wearing tiny shirts, who are far too happy. 

The Germans won this one, dispatching everyone's second favourite team Holland in the final.

8. Zakumi, South Africa 2010

THE name consists of 'ZA' standing for South Africa and 'kumi', which translates into '10' in various languages across Africa. So there you have it.

This cuddly leopard aims to turn the tournament into one huge, joyful and unforgettable party and show the thousands of guests the warmth and spirit of the African continent.

Good luck with that.
 9. Striker, United States 1994

OUR cousins from across the pond choose a dog to represent the nation, as voted for by the American public.

The hound in question was supposed to generate massive interest in the People's Game, yet it still remains to be seen whether this will ever be the case
 10. Footix, France 1998

FRANCE opted for a blue cockerel which could have helped to inspire Les Bleus on their home patch, as they won the World Cup for the first time.

An alternative design was a World Cup frog which did appear on a cult t-shirt at the time.