The Home of FIFA in Zurich was graced by one of the great world champions on Thursday when no less a figure than Cafu visited the world governing body’s headquarters.
The captain of the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ winning Brazilian team was attending an event organised by adidas in Switzerland, where he collected the FIFA World Cup Winner's Trophy for a promotional tour in his home country.
The two-time world champion, who laid hands on football’s greatest prize in 1994 and then as captain in 2002, was welcomed to Zurich by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke. Cafu was almost overcome with emotion when he first caught sight of the glittering golden trophy.
“This is fantastic. The memories of 2002 come flooding back," he enthused, before lovingly taking the Trophy in his hands: “There are no words to describe my feelings right now," he said.
The 42-year-old is the only man to play in three FIFA World Cup Finals, two of which ended in Brazilian victories. A newcomer in 1994, he was an early substitute in the Final as the South Americans defeated Italy in the USA. Four years later, A Seleção fell to hosts France, but Cafu's crowning glory came at Korea/Japan 2002 when he wore the armband as Brazil overcame Germany, sealing the most recent of the nation's five triumphs.
“Cafu knows what it means to hold this trophy in your hands," commented Valcke. “It'll be an inspiration to the Brazilian national team as they seek to win the cup again in 2014."
As part of an adidas sponsorship activation program, Cafu will take the Trophy to Brazil for a week, sowing the seeds for public anticipation and enthusiasm for the tournament in two years’ time. On Friday, he will present the Trophy to 750 children aged from three to 17 at his Cafu Foundation. The Trophy will then be shown at adidas events in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, before it is returned to its permanent home in Zurich.