The FIFA World Cup is now underway in faraway Russia, reuniting all football loving fans in a month-long spectacle of the finest football skills. This year’s mascot is Zabivaka the Wolf, created by Yekaterina Bocharova, a 21-year-old Russian graphic design student at Tomsk State University.

Since 1966 Mundial, each FIFA World Cup has had its own mascot. Willie – the mascot for the 1966 competition – was the first in a long line of FIFA World Cup mascots. Willie also holds the record as one of the first mascots to be associated with a major sporting competition.     


Zabivaka – the goalscorer

Zabivaka (Забива́ка) means “the one who scores” in Russian, a very suitable name for this wolf who radiates fun, charm and confidence. Perhaps this is a sneak peek of what to come. One thing is certain – the Russians will be pleased to have hosted the World Cup with the highest number of goals scored.


Zabivaka – the democrat

If Zabivaka was a politician, he would certainly be a Democrat. Over one million people took part in the all-national vote to choose the Russia 2018 mascot. The results were announced during the Vechernily Urgant (Evening Urgant) TV programme on the Perviy Kanal (First Channel). With such a decent vote haul, Zabivaka could certainly give Putin a run for his money.


Zabivaka – the intelligent

The wolf is an intelligent animal and the wolf mascot is a perfect match for a sport characterized by high intelligence, technique, and aptitude. Certainly, Zabivaka is the perfect mascot to welcome teeming football fans across the world to football’s biggest party.


Zabivaka – the last born

Zabivaka is the last born mascot. While this appears somewhat less newsworthy, he apparently shares the same love bestowed on all last borns. We hate to break it to you but your girlfriend probably wants to hug this fun, fluffy mascot too.


Zabivaka – the pathfinder

Wolf represents the pathfinder. As usual, this year’s Mundial will see many players trying to prove their mettle. Just as Right Said Fred puts it, the bragging rights to football’s biggest crown will come down to who wants it most.

There’s still time to link up with Zabivaka and watch all of your favourite football stars live in Russia. You can do this the Wakanow way.

Do you know any other fun facts about the world cup mascot that should have made the list? Feel free to share them in the comment section.

About the Author

Ayotunde is an Online Content Writer with a robust research background. A graduate of French Language of the University of Ado-Ekiti, he has a combined 6 years professional and postgraduate experience. After an initial postgraduate volunteering experience as a French Instructor at the Department of European Studies (University of Ibadan), he has worked with as a Classifieds Moderator, and with Bookbuilders Edition Africa as a freelance French Editor and Translator. His professional interests include- communications, public relations, and business management. A book lover, cryptology and travel enthusiast, Ayo dedicates his spare time to playing chess as well as a doctoral research he hopes to round up this year.

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