- The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola begins in Moscow
- Fans from over 50 countries to see the Trophy
- Tour set to visit 15 cities in Russia from September to December 2017
The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola was officially launched when FIFA President Gianni Infantino presented President of Russia Vladimir Putin with the trophy in the Host Nation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.
“The FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour is a milestone which beautifully showcases how much enthusiasm the greatest tournament on Earth can generate, and it is at the same time, an invitation to visit amazing Russia and enjoy Russia’s unique hospitality, ” Infantino said. “You cannot believe the excitement that will be built from those visits. If you have ever seen the marvelled look in the eyes of a football fan when being next to the FIFA World Cup Original Trophy, you know what I mean.”
First off, football fans in Russia will get the chance to see the trophy in person, which will whet their appetite for the wonderful festival atmosphere that will soon engulf their country. The tour will stop off in 15 Russian cities from September to December: Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Ufa, Perm, Saransk, Yaroslavl, Kaliningrad, Tula, Kursk, Voronezh, Saratov, Volgograd, Krasnodar and Sochi.
The Trophy’s historic journey
In January, the trophy will set off around the world, including to previous FIFA World Cup™ Hosts, such as Germany, South Africa, Japan, France among other countries, before returning to Russia in May, one month before the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ kicks off. The Russian route will be an historic one: a 123-day journey covering more than 26,000 km, making it the longest trip in the history of the Tour. The Trophy will visit 24 Russian cities, from Vladivostok in the far east to Kaliningrad, the most westerly of the Host Cities. You can follow the trophy’s route on FIFA.com/trophytour, as well as on our social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.
“It is symbolic that the Tour, which precedes the grand celebration of football in 2018, starts here in the Luzhniki Stadium. This arena is associated with the names of remarkable athletes, outstanding achievements and the atmosphere of passion and bright moments," Vladimir Putin said. “It deserves to be the main venue for the World Cup. And such beautiful, comfortable and technically equipped arenas will await players and fans in every Russian Host City. We are preparing for the major football tournament with all the responsibility."
The locals in Moscow can already get a sense of the approaching tournament at the Luzhniki itself, where the majority of the reconstruction work ahead of Russia 2018 has been completed. So far, no stars of world football have graced the playing surface, but pupils from some of the capital’s sports schools played a mini tournament at the stadium on Saturday. The kids also benefited from master classes with legends of Russian football, freestylers and volunteers.
“With the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, we are aiming to enable fans to create memorable experiences across Russia and throughout the world,” said The Coca-Cola Company Central and Eastern Europe Nikos Koumettis. “We are pleased that we are joining forces with FIFA, the Local Organizing Committee and the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, so that The Coca-Cola System in Russia can use an extraordinary opportunity to promote youth football development with the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour. We will highlight the need for sports, and football in particular, to be inclusive and available to everyone - including people with physical or intellectual disabilities.”
The trophy was jointly brought into the stadium by a duo already well acquainted with it: Bebeto, a World Cup winner in 1994 with Brazil, and David Trezeguet, who achieved the same feat with France in 1998.
“I remember how much passion and excitement France experienced before hosting the FIFA World Cup 20 years ago. This Trophy was lifted by very few footballers and I’m proud to be among them,” Trezeguet said. “To hold it in your arms is one of the best feelings I had in my entire life.”
“I took part in this beautiful Trophy’s journey in Brazil four years ago, and I am sure that Russia will soon learn how much passion and inspiration people take from just laying their eyes on the Trophy,” Bebeto said. “I lifted that Trophy in 1994 and I couldn´t begin to describe the emotion involved. That was all I ever dreamed about. This symbol of football can inspire people and especially kids, and remind them what it takes to fulfil their dreams.”