Trophies are prized possessions, clung to dearly by those talented and fortunate enough to reach the pinnacle of their chosen profession. A trophy can often become the centrepiece of an event, with players in varying FIFA World Cup™ Finals walking out past the iconic sculpture, be it at senior men’s, women’s or at the varying age group category World Cups throughout FIFA’s portfolio. Thus, the trophy itself becomes the goal, symbolising as it does the victory and ultimate success of a team’s endeavour to reach the very top.
What then, for individuals? The Best FIFA Football Awards™ will honour the elite footballers and coaches from across planet football, and a suitably symbolic and iconic trophy is needed to represent the highest individual honours in the sport.
FIFA, therefore, commissioned the design of a new platinum-coated trophy to honour The Best. The trophy, with identical versions for both men’s and women’s players and coaches, has a shape which resembles the iconic World Cup Trophy, an homage to tradition with a contemporary, dynamic design. The new trophy began to take shape after Croatian artist Ana Barbic Katicic’s designs made their way to Zurich.
“The inspiration behind the design of this trophy is to honour the best players in the world for FIFA,” Katic told FIFA.com. “We shared the same beliefs that we should not deviate from classical conventions and to respect the familiar and well-known FIFA identity. It respects and honours the same values that have been the cornerstone of the sport since the earliest days of FIFA and we try to celebrate it again with this new iconic trophy.”
The design, with the ball used in the first World Cup Final played between Uruguay and Argentina in 1930 sitting atop the sleek body, was made into reality by Adon Production AG, a company based just outside Zurich. Some cutting edge technology was used in the creation.
“The trophy consists of five parts: the bottom, the base, a carbon piece over the base, the body and the ball,” Rover Schudel, CEO and Chairman of Adon explained. “The machine that shapes the ball is very new. It produces pieces for the aerospace industry, also for Formula 1, and has the precision of 12,000th of a millimetre.”
New trophy, respecting traditions
The trophy itself, which stands at 310mm and weighs a substantial 6.4kg, is adorned by a ball at its pinnacle. This is perhaps its most striking feature, a suitable homage to FIFA’s original tournament.
“The ball on the top of the trophy represents the history of football and the history of FIFA too," FIFA's Deputy Secretary General of Football Zvonimir Boban told FIFA.com. “I believe this is beautiful storytelling, it shows respect for the traditions of football, while maintaining a modern look. This makes it a purely postmodern trophy."
It was a moment to behold when Boban revealed the trophy for the first time to Katicic, who was flown from Zagreb to the factory to see the finished version.
“When I saw the trophy for the first time, I was overwhelmed,” Katicic smiled. “It was purely a dream come true. I’m so happy to have been part of this project and to be connected with these experts in high technology that produced it. It looks wonderful, it’s so fine, so precise, so detailed. It combines simplicity and minimalism that were the ideas behind the trophy and it is really magical.”
One imagines that whoever is named The Best, by the assorted players, coaches, media and fans who have voted, will have a similarly emotional reaction to seeing the trophy, when they finally hold the weighty prize in their hands.