Since 1966 brought us World Cup Willie, there has always been a mascot chosen to represent the host country in every FIFA World Cup tournament. This year it’s the turn of Russia and the choice was between a cat, wolf, and tiger. The World Cup mascot for Russia 2018 has been chosen and it is the wolf named Zabivaka.

This wolf named Zabivaka means “the one who scores” in Russian and was developed by student designer Ekaterina Bocharova. It received 53% of the votes. The tiger received 27% and the cat received 20%. More than one million votes were cast in a bid to select the Russia 2018 mascot.

World 2018 Cup Mascot

The wolf radiates fun, charm, and confidence and it came about after Russian children took part in an online poll to suggest what they wanted. Those ideas were then given to university students who submitted their ideas and a shortlist of ten was chosen, which was further narrowed down to the three finalists.

Local Organising Committee Chairman, Vitaly Mutko, said, “I am sure Zabivaka will be a massive hit among fans at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.” He also went on to say, that the role of the mascot is to inspire supporters and get the wider population involved in football.

Zabivaka The Wolf – Russia 2018 Mascot

Zabivaka has his own personal profile and while he might be the youngest player in the squad, he is faster, bolder, and more skilful. His talent contributes to his team winning the match. His key characteristics include being confident, charming, fun to be around, a joker in the pack, and he values his team members. He plays with skill and purpose and he wears cool sports glasses when he’s in action.

Past World Cup Mascots

There have been world cup mascots since 1966 and below we list them all.

  • World Cup Willie the lion – 1966 England
  • Juanito the boy – 1970 Mexico
  • Tip and Tap, two boys – 1974 West Germany
  • Guachito the footballer – 1978 Argentina
  • Naranjito the orange – 1982 Spain
  • Pique the hot pepper – 1986 Mexico
  • Ciao the stick figure player – 1990 Italy
  • Striker the dog – 1994 United States
  • Footix the cockerel – 1998 France
  • Spheriks the energy – 2002 Korea/Japan
  • Goleo VI the lion – 2006 Germany
  • Zakumi the leopard – 2010 South Africa
  • Fuleco the three-banded armadillo – 2014 Brazil