We’re still about two years away from the kickoff of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but we already have a mascot, as FIFA unveiled a soccer-playing armadillo today as the cuddly face of the tournament. The three-banded armadillo, which is indigenous to Brazil, doesn’t have a name yet, because Brazilians will select it by public and FIFA will reveal the winning moniker in the middle of this November.
On his official bio, the nameless ‘dillo confesses to being nosy and sociable unlike most armadillos. Though if he does want some seclusion, because he’s of the three-banded variety, he is one of only two kinds of armadillos that can curl up tightly into a ball and be protected by his hard shell. As for hobbies, he likes dancing, listening to Brazilian music and, of course, all things soccer. Predictably, his favorite players are Brazilian soccer legends Pele and Ronaldo.
The armadillo doesn’t look so bad, and fits in with how FIFA normally uses an animal as the World Cup’s mascot. For the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa, the hosts had a leopard named Zakumi who sported a head of floppy green hair. During Germany’s 2006 tournament they had a big friendly lion named Goleo VI.
It’s early for the armadillo, but it’s safe to say he’ll have long way to go to live up to Wenlock and Mandeville, the odd but lovable Cyclops mascots from the London 2012 Olympics.
For more World Cup coverage, check out SI Kids' Guide to the 2014 World Cup!