The World Cup has had a mascot ever since England blessed us with World Cup Willie in 1966. Since then, we've had at least one mascot chosen to represent the host country and the tournament at every World Cup. The mascot race for the 2018 edition in Russia is heating up, with three finalists revealed on Friday.
Russian fans will get to choose from three animals. Cat, Wolf and Tiger are not so creatively named, but they are certainly creatively designed.
I won't dive into which is which or how they got their names, I'll leave that for you to decode. What I will tell you is that there is one clear-cut answer as to whom the Russian fans should vote for. His name is Wolf, and here are the pros and cons for the three candidates.
Article continues below ...
Wolf is the favorite because just look at him. He's quick, bold and has a keen fashion sense. As the youngest candidate, he's in touch with the future of the sport. He took a selfie at the end of his extended video, for crying out loud. He's got that little extra sauce the other candidates are missing. Wolf is the coolest, and I'll fight anyone who disagrees with me.
OK, so Cat is also pretty dope. Cat is smart and agile, and apparently versatile. He tends to do most of his damage via midfield combinations, but actually can play between the posts in a pinch. Cat possesses one glaring error, though, there's zero intimidation factor there. He's too cuddly and cute. If he were a player he'd be like Andres Iniesta, someone that would probably twist a knife in your back, but you'd still want to hug them anyway.
It might be harsh to put Tiger last, but someone had to be. That's not to say that energetic Tiger isn't cool, but he's just out-shined by the other candidates. Tiger might have pace for days, but the discipline seems to be a question. It makes sense, though. Tiger's ultimate goal is to reach outer space. If soccer isn't his sole passion, he can't be the World Cup mascot.
No matter who the Russian faithful do elect as the tournament's mascot, the job will be in capable hands (paws?). The next step will hopefully be finding a more imaginative name for the furry ambassador.