Blatter Presents Italy With Historic World Champions Badge

Italy have become the first country ever to receive the FIFA World Champions Badge, which was presented to them today by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Italy famously triumphed in Germany two years ago, defeating France in the final in Berlin. In a new initiative, all World Cup winners from now on will receive a badge, which they will wear until the following FIFA World Cup.

Italy become the first ever recipients, and the badges will be affixed to every shirt, starting from their opening 2010 qualifier against Cyprus this Saturday.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter was in Coverciano today, during the Azzurri’s training session, to officially deliver the badges. He was received by FIGC president Giancarlo Abete, and also in attendance at the ceremony was Giovanni Petrucci, together with the senior management of Italian football.

"Wearing a badge to mark the team's triumph in 2006 is a way to proudly commemorate, day after day, the title of world champion," said Blatter, who infamously refused to hand over the World Cup to the Azzurri in Berlin two years ago.

"This badge pays tribute to the world champions and is a gesture of respect and recognition."

Italy coach Marcello Lippi added: "Italy have the honour of being the first team in the history of the World Cup to wear FIFA's new badge.

“It is a source of great pride for the whole of Italian football.”

Italy will be hoping to repeat their German heroics in South Afica and thus keep these badges for even longer.

Anthony Sormani