Did you know that any team who wins the World Cup four times gets to keep the trophy? I had forgotten until now. Brazil was awarded the first trophy, which was stolen and is still missing. The second belongs to Italy, forever. Amen. The picture at left is captioned, "Fabio Cannavaro receives the Cup from Joseph Blatter." Excerpts from the article on Gazzetta dello Sport below:
FLORENCE, 2 September 2008 - For the first time, a national side displays on their shirts a logo reflecting one of their achievements: for Lippi's lads, it will be a special memory. It's a logo that will identify the reigning world champions: the world cup on a white background, with the words FIFA World Champions 2006. "It has never happened before and this shows how much FIFA cares about Italy," said Abete, president of FIGC.
(In case anyone was wondering what I want for my birthday, a-hem.)
Here is Joseph Blatter, FIFA's number one: "The champions deserve special recognition. The Italian side are the first ones to have it; the logo will be on their blue shirts at least until 2010. The players who have that logo on their shirts will have extra motivation." Then came a round of applause, requested by Blatter, who complimented Italy.
The squad and the coaching staff were also present in the ceremony. The captain Cannavaro found some time to talk about a rematch: "The experience in Germany changed all our lives. We believed in a dream and made it come true. We have won a magical cup. However, we have another chance at it now; the chance to silence everyone. This is why I invite president Blatter to hand over the cup to me. He can do that now." After which, FIFA President (who left his place in Berlin to Johansson), stood up and handed the World Cup (that was behind both of them) over to the Italian captain: "It's never too late to do well," smiled Blatter.