The 2018 World Cup kicks off in Moscow on June 14th and the final preparations are currently underway for the tournament. Brazil and Germany are the current joint-favourites to triumph in the competition with a number of Canadian online bookmakers such as 888Sport, Sports Interaction and Bodog finding it difficult to separate the pair at the top of the market. | One of the aspects that has recently been decided is the World Cup squad’s mascot. It was chosen by the Russian public and is a wolf called Zabivaka. The name means “the one who scores”. They have come up with a number of key characteristics for the wolf including that he is “always fun to be around” and that football is his favourite pastime. The wolf was developed by student Ekaterina Bocharova and proved more popular than a cat and a tiger who finished second and third in the vote. A live TV show crowned Zabivaka as the winner and it has been “tasked with inspiring supporters” and “getting the wider population involved in football” during the summer months. Previous World Cup squads mascots include World Cup Willie, who represented England in 1966 and was wearing a Union Jack jersey and Footix, a cockerel who represented France back in 1998 and was predominantly blue with the words “France 98” written on its chest. Four years ago, Brazil chose an armadillo called Fuleco to be the official World Cup mascot.