Top 10 dumbest World Cup mascots

World Cup 2010 mascot, Top 10 dumbest World Cup mascots

Pictured above is the official mascot for the 2010 World Cup. I bet you’re frothing at the mouth for soccer right now. First created for the ’66 cup in England, World Cup mascots are suppose to symbolize the host country. In reality, they do a terrible job while looking ridiculous.

While some are forgivable (Juanito at Mexico ’70, for example), the following are more pathetic than a Brazilian flopping on the field like he had just been doused with face-melting acid. So as we gear up for South Africa, check out the top 10 dumbest-looking World Cup mascots ever:

10. Gauchito, Argentina ’78

gauchito argentina '78 world cup

This one’s not soooo bad. At least he’s sporting Puma, the best soccer brand ever made. But Gauchito, armed with his butter knife whip, looks more like something you’d find on a cereal box than the face of the world’s largest sporting event.

9. World Cup Willie, England ’66

England 1966 world cup wilie

Ah, the one that started it all. It’s a lion wearing a Union Jack for a shirt. But it’s the name the really gets me—Willie. That’s the best you Brits could come up with, eh? World Cup Willie? When asked for comment, Queen Elizabeth II reportedly said at the time, “That’s the dumbest name I’ve ever heard.”

8. The Spheriks, Korea/Japan ’02

The Spheriks, 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan
The Japanese are crazy. Make ‘em share a room with Koreans, and this is what they come up with. As the first and only computer-generated mascots to date, The Spheriks were known for making Teletubies green with envy… and for causing Western supporters to quickly usher their young children out of harm’s way.

7. Pique, Mexico ’86

pique mexico '86 world cup

Look, it’s a jalapeño pepper with a mustache and sombrero. How stereotypical!

6. Footix, France ’98

France '98 World Cup, Footix
Hey, everyone. It’s Woody Woodpecker holding a soccer ball! France, I know the cockerel is a national symbol, but you’re not even trying. Not that you needed to though. At least you won the World Cup on home soil that year

5. Goleo and Pille, Germany ’06

goleo and pille, world cup germany 2006
No. That’s all I got.

4. Ciao, Italy ’90

Italy '90 World Cup, Ciao
Oh my, what originality, Italy! A stick figure made out of blocks. Oh, I get it, the blocks are the same color as your flag. I see what you did there. Amazing. And a soccer ball for a head. That’s just the icing on the cake. Well done, folks. Let’s have a round of applause.

3. Naranjito, Spain ’82

naranjito, spain 1982 world cup

Really Spain? This is what you came up with? An orange that looks like Humpty Dumpty? You were just a cheap cash advance away from hiring a real PR firm but instead you had to DIY. I’m speechless, really.

2. Striker the World Cup Pup, USA ’94

Striker the World Cup Pup, USA '94
It may have had the best facilities of any World Cup, but the USA ’94 mascot was definitely lacking. The World Cup Pup? It looks like he was drawn in the ’30s, not the ’90s. And what the crap does a dog have to do with America? I like dogs and all, but this is meaningless, juvenile, and boring.

1. Tip and Tap, Germany ’74

Tip and Tap Germany World Cup '74
You’re still doing it wrong, Germany. Affectionate boys bearing midriffs? Ridiculously long feet? Rosy cheeks? This is hands-down the worst attempt at a mascot, not just in the World Cup, but in the entire world. It’s like a political cartoonist from some rubbish German paper was asked to throw something together in the final hour. This is what he came up with. Mascot fail.

September 22, 2009
27 comments

Comments (27)

  1. 1. Juan says...

    Dude, Footix and Striker are amongst the top mascots in my list.

    Putting Footix in there just because its resemblance to Woody Woodpecker is ridiculous… he’s still mighty cool.

    As for striker, he’s still really cool, but i’d accept it of you put it low on the list because it doesn’t really represent the US… 10th spot maybe.

  2. 2. mariane says...

    yesss, footix and Striker are cool !!! : D

  3. 3. Priscilla says...

    …. i think you have a bit too much time on your hands. try taking up a hobby or something that requires a little less sarcasm.

  4. 4. marco says...

    it does not really make sense to me making a top ten list of only world cup mascots; there are actually 12 (with zakumi, the new one). you should include the mascots of the olimpic summer and winter games… maybe also the mascots of the european championship.

    and the idea of the mascots is to represent the guest-nation… footix, pique and naranjito good choices (and these are the better ones) … willie is also ok. what would you chose instead of them?

    definitely no go’s are goleo & pille and the spherix. no one likes them. :P

    cheerio

    ps: why is juanito (mexico 70) not in your list? should a mascot look like this… ?

  5. 5. ross harper says...

    who cares about mascots i just watch the fitba

  6. 6. Pippo says...

    Ciao on 4?! Nonsense. It’s clear-cut and timeless.

  7. 7. world cup girl.... says...

    LOL!!!! I LOVE WORLD CUP MASCOTS ALOT AND EVERY ONE OF THEIR CREATORS ( PLEASE TAKE IN MIND THAT WHERE ALL MEN ABOVE THEIR 30,S PLEASE,, AND ALOT WHERE ARTISTS)Each wc.m was inpired during their time. THEIR REALLY WAS NOT MUCH TO GET INSPIRED IN,, AND EVERY MASCOT COMES FROM DIFFERENT THEMES FROM EACH COUNTRY.. THE LION MASCOT IS INSPIRED IN ENGLANDS EMBLEM WHICH HAS 3 BLUE LIONS.. JUANITO REMAINS A MYSTERY, HE WAS THE FIRST WCUP MASCOT HUMAN BOY,,SENSE NO ONE TOOK THESE THINGS SERIOUS, THE OTHER 2 GOT INSPIRED IN THIS ONE AND AFTER GAUCHITO IT STOPPED THERE.

    TIP AND TAP ARE THE RESULTS OF THE X DIVIDED GERMANY, TIP IS WEST GERMANY AND TAP IS WEST BERLIN.. THE PROOF IS TIPS 8 FRECKLES WHICH ARE THE 8 STADIUMS AND TAP WAS FOR ONE IN W.BERLIN. AND THEY WERE VERY POPULAR DURING THEIR TIME!!!DONT MATTER HOW DUMB THEY SEEM,, GERMANY LOVED THEM…LOL!!!

    GAUCHITO IS OBVIOUSLY INSPIRED IN ARGENTINAS HEROS THEIR GAUCHOS…AND HIS CREATOR IS A VERY FAMOUS CARTOON ARTIST!

    NARANJITO WAS INSPIRED IN SPAINS HIGH PRODUCTION OF ORANGES,, OK,, I AGREE WHAT WAS PACHECO THINKING??? WELL,, IT WAS THE 80,S!!

    PIQUE WAS RUMORED TO BE CREATED FROM THE SOCCER FED OF MEXICO PRESIDENT,S DAUGHTER.. IT WAS HER IDEA!! BUT I THINK THIS MASCOT IS PRETTY COOL AND KINDA MATURE..LOL…

    CIAO IS A MODERN,SERIOUS NOT REALLY FOR KIDS MASCOT,, HE WAS DESIGHED FOR A MORE MODERN MATURE PUBLIC IN MIND…

    STRIKER IS A FUNNY CREATION FROM THE WARNER BROS STUDIOS,,SO YOU SHOULD BLAME THEM!!! LOL… I GUESS BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT DOGS ARE MANS BEST FRIEND!!!! AND WHY NOTMAKE THAT INTO A MASCOT..

    FOOTIX IS INSPIRED IN FRANCES SOCCER EMBLEM… THATS ALL…

    NOW THE 2002 MASCOTS ARE TERRIBLE!!! YES WHAT WERE THE JAPANESE THINKING.. I WOULD RATHER SEE A COOL DRAGON MASCOT THEN THIS!!! LOL!!!

    GOLEO IS A NEW CONCEPT THAT WAS FORMED FOR THE NEW UNITED GERMANY,, THEY HAVE SO MANY ANIMALES THERE,, THEY SHOULD HAVE PICKED ONE OF THOSE,, NOT A LION… LOL…. PILLIE KINDA CREEPS ME OUT…

    ZAKUMI IS NOT EVEN NEW HE WAS BORN IN 1994!!!! I THINK HES OK…GO AFRICA!!!

    OK TO THE WRITERS OF THIS PAGE!!!!

    THE STUFF U WROTE WAS VERY FUNNY!!!! AND REALLY,,I ENJOYED IT!!!! IF THE WORLD CUP MASCOTS SAW THIS THEY PROBARLY WOULD HAVE HUNTED U DOWN!!!! THERE NOT AS NICE AS THEY SEEM!!! LOL!!!! WELL,,, GOODJOB!!!

  8. 8. ... says...

    it’s called football… if you people really love the sport you should start by naming it correctly and stop using that “sucker” nonsense…

  9. 9. Sofia says...

    It’s not a butter knife what the argentinian mascot has, dude, it’s what they call a “bombilla” that is used to drink yerba mate, which is a very common drink there. You should read a few history books men…

  10. 10. Lisandro Contreras says...

    - The “Chile-sombreo” of Mexico’s PIQUE its very cool, I will always remember it as the best, the funniest & most original of all World cup mascots!

  11. 11. alesdepaga says...

    CIAO è l’unica mascotte bella che sia mai stata creata!è un cubo di rubik!è semplicemente geniale!

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  14. 14. lfta2010 says...

    What we all have to understand is that the mascots are something that “represents” the country, I agree on some mascots had nothing to do with the whole meaning.. but some of them we have to give some credit…

  15. 15. mercedes says...

    Gauchito is not holding a butter knife or a bombilla. He’s holding a “rebenque”, a kind of leather devise gauchos use to control horses by hitting them with it.

  16. 16. jorden richardson says...

    hi am am bob marley and i lyk pizza and i dont lyk this website its stuped

  17. 17. Nathan Hamilton says...

    i am nathan and i hate hate the world cup and i live in abbytown

  18. 18. Diego JL says...

    I think that this guy is just a lame unemployed fat ass who does not have anything else to do but to criticize everything he sees.

    the ONLY good critic that he had was the one for Footix, i give him 2 thumps up for that one

    and by the way…

    Gauchito, Pique, Zakumi, The Spheriks, Willie, and Striker DO represent their country well because, so you know dumb ass, oranges are very common and also very well known for their good taste and quality, which would be Spain (specifically in Valencia). Mexico is also very well known for their stereotypical outfits and stuff. Also, for their delicious spicy food, so there you go with the pepper.

    I dont think i have enough space to finish out my comment but i just want to say that all of you people who think that these mascots are lame then you should start learning MORE about other cultures and countries, and then yo will know why these mascots are chosen.
    Allow me to finish up saying that I THINK, that next world cup mascot could be a child, a parrot (guacamaya), a macaque or another fruit.

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  20. 20. world cup girl says...

    well said diego jl !!!!! leave them alone!!!!!

  21. 21. world cup girl says...

    please,, people. before writing dume stuff down, study culture first!!!! and dont matter how much you complain that you hate a certain mascot, you cant do nothing about it, there already there and fifa is not going to tAKE THEM OUT!!!

  22. 22. MJ1958_2009 says...

    Hey, I like the idea of animals, especially house pets like Striker, and endangered species, as World Cup mascots! Humans and other weird-looking characters (stick, orange, etc.) don’t seem right. In fact, most people like animals as World Cup mascots. I don’t know why but they seem fun and entertaining but then kawaii-looking characters can do good too.

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  24. 24. ben kay says...

    i think this nathan is a round headed gimp who needs to get a life

  25. 25. Nicolas Carranza says...

    First of all, if you live in the United States you should know that dogs are a common house pet, so Striker actually does represent the country. Same with the majority of the countries, Willie is a lion which is a typical symbol in England, look at their logo. Juanito and Pique are both common things in Mexico, one being the common nickname for many young boys and the other originates from the word picante, which is an adjective used for some Mexican cuisine. Korea and Japan are into the futuristic animation, with the two smaller Spheriks are supposed to be players, while the big one is the coach. A gaucho (or diminutive) gauchito are common among Argentina, with his neckerchief, hat and whip are common for gauchos. Naranjito is an orange, a common Spanish fruit who is wearing the host countries’ kit (uniform) with the diminutive suffix: “Ito”, although he could’ve been made to look better he still represents Spain. Zakumi is a leopard commonly found in South Africa, his green hair and yellow fur represents the hosts nations team colors and the name is a conjunction, between Za (the initials for South Africa in their language) and Kumi (meaning 10, as in 2010, in various African languages). Footix is a rooster, a national symbol for France, his name is a conjunction between Foot (football) and Ix (something about an Asterix comic, I don’t really know much about it). And although Goleo and Pille, Tip and Tap, and Ciao don’t represent their country as much as the rest, they still were very much appreciated by the fans. Nonetheless, all mascots come with interesting stories behind them and I really liked them and am looking forward to what Brazil can come up with. Bottom line, stop posting articles like this without any form of research or knowledge.

  26. 26. Animal Mascots says...

    Zakumi is my favorite one.. Love it.. :)

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