Amarildo, Bebeto, Carlos Alberto Torres, Marta, Ronaldo and Mario Zagallo, six of the biggest names in Brazilian football, were named 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Ambassadors on Wednesday.
In their capacity as representatives of the spiritual home of football, the five world champions and the five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year will have the task of promoting the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. It will be their job to encourage people from all over the country and the world as a whole to take part in and celebrate these festivals of football.
The official presentation of the six Ambassadors followed the latest Brazil 2014 Organising Committee (LOC) board meeting in Rio de Janeiro. Though unable to attend the event for personal reasons, Zagallo sent a video message and said he was proud to be representing his country once again.
“I was a soldier at the 1950 World Cup and today I’ve been promoted to ambassador. It’s a very big jump,” said O Velho Lobo (The Old Wolf), clearly excited about his new role. “Together we will be victorious.”
A team-mate of Zagallo in Brazil’s triumph at Chile 1962, Amarildo said he was very impressed by the Brazil 2014 Ambassador line-up: “A team with so many stars would win the cup at a stroll. They’re all phenomenal.”
Marta expressed similar sentiments: “I’ve been in lots of other teams, but there’s no doubt it’s a tremendous honour to be part of a line-up packed full of stars and in support of something that I’m sure will be a success.”
For his part, Carlos Alberto, the captain of the side that won Brazil’s third world crown at Mexico 1970, spoke of the honour of serving Brazilian football again as the country prepares to stage the event.
LOC Management Board members Bebeto and Ronaldo, who have been involved in the organisation of Brazil 2014 for some time now, were responsible for welcoming the four other legends on board.
The six Ambassadors were chosen by the LOC, with FIFA’s approval, and their names were announced by LOC Chairman Jose Maria Marin. Prior to the announcement, representatives from FIFA, the LOC and the Brazilian government took part in the LOC board meeting, where the second version of the National Team Training Centres (CTSs) catalogue was presented.
“The sporting legacy of the FIFA World Cup goes far beyond the beautiful, modern stadiums being built for it,” commented Marin. “This study, the future improvements to be made at these facilities and, of course, the international profile achieved by the selected training centres will figure large in the legacy of this event.”
Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport Luis Fernandes had this to say: “It was decided at the meeting that FIFA, the LOC and the Brazilian government should hold operational meetings at all the Confederations Cup venues with a view to guaranteeing the success of the event.
“We also discussed issues such as power supply and logistics. The preparations to ensure that everything will be ready on time for the Confederations Cup and the World Cup are moving along satisfactorily, and I can state that the news in terms of the preparation of the event is reassuring.”