FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today presented the very first 'FIFA World Champions Badge' to reigning world champions Italy in Coverciano, Italy. The Squadra Azzurra are the first national team to receive this badge, which from now on will be awarded after every FIFA World Cup™ finals competition. The reigning world champions will be able to wear the badge until the next FIFA World Cup.
"," said the FIFA President, who personally congratulated the Italian world champions during their training session at the Italian Football Association's academy in Coverciano. "This badge pays tribute to the world champions and is a gesture of respect and recognition."
Wearing a badge to mark the team's triumph in 2006 is a way to proudly commemorate, day after day, the title of world champion
"Italy have the honour of being the first team in the history of the World Cup to wear FIFA's new badge. It is a source of great pride for the whole of Italian football," said coach Marcello Lippi.
Gianluigi Buffon, the goalkeeper and captain of the Squadra Azzurra, added: "We are the world champions, but we would like to share the joy of wearing the 'FIFA World Champions Badge' on our shirts with all of the fans who were with us during our extraordinary journey back in 2006."
There are two different versions of the badge - white on a golden background and gold on a white background. The FIFA World Cup Trophy, which was the brainchild of Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga in 1974, is embroidered on the badge.
The Italians will wear the 'FIFA World Champions Badge' for the first time on 6 September when they take on Cyprus in the preliminary competition of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
There is already a similar badge for the winners of the FIFA Club World Cup. FIFA presented the first such badge to 2007 champions AC Milan in February 2008.