For approximately one week, two central American nations have had the privilege of hosting the most recognised trophy in world sport.
In Panama and in Honduras, Presidents Ricardo Martinelli and Porfírio Lobo Sosa, respectively, were the only citizens of each country allowed to hold the trophy that has already been hoisted aloft by football’s most talented stars such as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Diego Maradona, and most recently, Fabio Cannavaro.
Panama has never been to the finals, but the President of the Panamanian Football Federation, Ariel Alvarado, said that he is hopeful the country will qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil.
Meanwhile, in San Pedro Sula, the trophy was received with the same joy Hondurans have shared since the country was guaranteed one of the spots at South Africa 2010. In another event in Tegucigalpa, Ramon Maradiaga, Hector Zelaya and Fernando Bulnez, stars of the 1982 squad were received as champions.
In the farewell from Honduras, 10,000 people arrived from all parts of the country to see the trophy up close. Those were moments of pure emotion for entire families, which had never imagined they’d have this opportunity.
The FIFA World Cup Trophy tour presented by Coca-Cola now heads to Mexico. It’ll be the 64th stop for the Trophy as it makes its way to the host nation of South Africa on 4 May 2010.