The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy made its 67th stop on its biggest-ever global tour when it arrived in Paris on Saturday 13 March. To the backdrop of the ‘Wavin’ Flag’, and dancing guests at the Casino de Paris, it was former FIFA World Cup-winner Franck Leboeuf who had the honour of bringing the Trophy into the arena. “It’s a dream to lift the Trophy again,” said the former Chelsea defender.
Bernard Diomede, the Chevalier of the Lègion d'Honneur agreed: "This is a great event. It’s a great thrill, not only for the players and fans, but for the sponsors and partners to give them the opportunity to experience what the players feel while being on the pitch."
More than 20.000 football fans, mainly families with children, descended next day on the Galaxy Foot Centre in Paris the savour the wonderful excitement of a close-up view of the FIFA World Cup Trophy as well as enjoying other attractions. They could watch a 3D movie showcasing the greatest moments from the FIFA World Cup’s history as well as the chance to have a souvenir photo with one of the most recognisable sporting symbols in the world.
The European leg continued its global journey in Sweden on Tuesday 16 March. Joining the welcoming party was head of Sweden FA Lars-Åke Lagrell, Coca-Cola’s Managing Director Göran Holm, as well as legendary Swedish players Thomas Brolin and Kurt Hamrin.
"It was fantastic to be able to get so close to this beautiful jewel", said Hamrin, who most Swedes remember for the goal he scored against West Germany in the semi-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
In Stockholm, not even the cold weather discouraged 6,000 excited fans, including Bengt Agdren, the secretary of the 1958 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee: “The trophy has arrived in our country for the second time,” he smiled. “We had the Jules Rimet Trophy back in 1958. I took it from the plane. As I remember, that trophy was smaller and thinner than this solid gold icon.
“I hope Sweden will have another opportunity to bring this FIFA World Cup Trophy back home soon, either as hosts or, even better, holders!”