World Cup 2010: Top 10 World Cup Mascots

From England's Willie to South Africa's Zakumi, World Cup Mascots are here to stay. Goal.com picks ten of the most memorable from down the years...
10) Goleo VI With Pille The Sidekick
      Germany 2006


Memorably described by one reporter as resembling an "out-of-wedlock child of Chewbacca and Alf".
Minus pants and gazing at his sidekick Pille with a rose didn't do this bizarre mascot any favours either. Presumably his talking football partner must have been another brainwave from FIFA.

9) Nameless Mascot
    Women's World Cup 2003

Original hosts China were inspired by local heroine Hua Mulan for this mascot. Not sure if she would have sported the footballs for hair look though. Strangely enough, it never caught on.

8) Tip and Tap
    West Germany 1974


Nein! It's another mascot shocker from the Germans. Two boys showing their belly buttons and looking a bit too happy about it all. The winning German team were powerful but even they didn't have hands and boots that big.

7) Pique
    Mexico 1986


The Mexicans were given the World Cup after Colombia were unable to host it and spent exactly two seconds creating this mascot.

Step forward Pique the jalapeno pepper with a ridiculous moustache and a sombrero. Mexico's Juanito in 1970 also sported an identical hat. Stereotype anyone?

6) The Spheriks
    Korea/Japan 2002


Ato, Kaz and Nik scared the hell out of kids and probably caused a few seizures along the way. The colourful trio were the first and so far only mascots to be solely computer generated. Based on this evidence let's hope it stays that way.

5) Footix
    France 1998


France went for the oh so original option of a blue cockerel. Still, he would have been more useful up front than Stephan Guivarc'h.

Sadly the French organisers turned down the World Cup frog which did crop up on a cult t-shirt.

4) Naranjito
    Spain 1982


Credit must go to the Spanish for putting their faith in a humble orange who looked like Humpty Dumpty. The same fruit came in handy for pelting at the team after they lost to Northern Ireland in the group stages.

3) Striker
    USA 1994


The States welcomed the World Cup with a pup voted for by the American public. Striker was meant to trigger soccer fever stateside but they've yet to go barking mad about the beautiful game.  

2) Ciao
    Italy 1990


Minimalist and effortlessly cool. Fair enough the mascot may have looked like it was made from Lego but Ciao is synonymous with Italia '90 and those of us ancient enough to remember can recall it moving around and kicking a ball on the original tv graphics. Oh nostalgia!

1) World Cup Willie
    England 1966


The first ever mascot to be used in a major sporting event and let's face it, still the best, after being chosen ahead of a bulldog.

Inspired countless imitations over the years (ahem Germany '06) and originals of Willie are worth a small fortune. He popped up in cereal boxes and remains the only mascot to be the subject of an official World Cup song.


No, this isn't Willie - it's Goleo VI, the resurrection

Patrick Reilly, Goal.com