Can Karla Kick it? Yes she can!
© Action Images

Playful, curious, full of ideas, bubbling with personality and both graceful and athletic. Who are we talking about? Karla Kick of course – the official mascot of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™ whom fans recently had a chance to meet for the first time.

This cheeky bundle of fur made her bow at the opening match of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2010 in Germany between Costa Rica and the hosts, and she has already won a place in the hearts of football supports young and old alike.

Kaiser Beckenbauer already a fan
"The official mascot is a great symbolic figure for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 in Germany," said FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil. "Karla Kick perfectly encapsulates the grace, athleticism and love of the game that is inherent in women’s football and has all the qualities you need to play a big part in the tournament. I'm convinced that this cartoon cat, full of elegance and passion for the sport, will be greatly appreciated by both the fans and the players."

Karla Kick’s first official duties came at the opening match in Bochum on 13 July, alongside Franz Beckenbauer, President of the Organising Committees of the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women’s World Cups, and LOC President Steffi Jones. Not that everything went according to plan as she came out onto the pitch to make her debut – her giant feline ears came a little too close to the Kaiser’s glasses and ended up knocking them off his nose. Despite the mishap, Beckenbauer was all smiles. After all, who could possibly be cross with cute cat Karla Kick?

Mexican waves a speciality
Karla Kick was born in Germany in 1995 and takes her responsibilities as the country’s FIFA World Cup ambassador very seriously. Her hobbies include conducting the Mexican wave, having fun with children and generally playing around. Fans be warned however – you may find Karla sitting on your lap at some point!

She is crazy about kids and loves to play, particularly when it comes to football. What matters most to Karla Kick, though, is making sure fair play is always respected, and she will be crossing her paws and wishing good luck to all the competing teams in equal measure.

Following in the footsteps of Leah and Karlsson
Like any self-respecting feline, she also has a sense of adventure, which recently saw her jumping off a ten-foot high wall in Dresden – no doubt testing the theories about cats always landing on their paws and having nine lives into the bargain. Her favourite location at the moment is the concrete base around the stand in Augsburg which is perfect for climbing on and jumping off.

She has been particularly impressed by the somersault throw-ins perfected by Leah of Brazil and Sweden’s Kristin Karlsson and would love to be able to imitate her heroines. Even as we speak, the cartoon cat is rumoured to be practising her technique...