FIFA and The Coca-Cola Company joined some of the greatest names in Brazilian football history today (Thursday 12 September) to announce the continuation of the highly anticipated FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola. World football’s greatest prize is set to embark on an extensive 267-day journey, covering 89 countries, and giving the opportunity to millions of fans to enjoy a rare close-up view of the authentic solid-gold trophy, the very same one that is presented to the winners of every FIFA World Cup™.

The official opening ceremony took place at the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the presence of champions from each of Brazil’s five FIFA World Cup™ wins – Zagallo (1958), Amarildo (1962), Rivelino (1970), Bebeto (1994) and Marcos (2002). The event evoked vivid memories of their great success and the time when they held world football’s greatest prize.

“I remember the night I lifted the trophy back in 2002 in Japan, it is an unforgettable moment that filled me with pride and honour for my country," said Marcos, 2002 FIFA World Cup™ Winner. "It is great that FIFA and Coca-Cola are giving the fans the opportunity to share some of those same feelings that can come only from the true symbol of world football.”

This is the third time that FIFA and The Coca-Cola Company have come together to bring the Trophy Tour to the world. Prior to the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, millions of passionate fans from countries in all six confederations had the opportunity to experience the magic of the FIFA World Cup in their home countries.

“We are extremely happy to bring the most iconic symbol in football to the world once again. At this point, when many countries are beginning to secure their spots in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, this tour gives us the opportunity to share our passion for the beautiful game with fans across the globe who are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the trophy up close in their home country. I want to thank our long-term partner Coca-Cola for making this dream come true for many millions of football fans around the globe,” explained FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter.

“Coca-Cola shares the passion that fans have for football around the world and through our partnership with FIFA we champion the power of football to bring the world together,” said Joseph Tripodi, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.

“Like all football fans, we’re especially excited about the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ taking place in the spiritual home of football and the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour will be our opportunity to take the energy and passion of the host nation, Brazil, and share it with millions of football fans around the world,” added Tripodi.

The original FIFA World Cup™ Trophy is 36.8 centimetres (14.5 inches) high, weighs 6.175 grams (13.61 pounds) and is made of solid, 18-carat gold. The base contains two layers of semi-precious malachite while its underside is engraved with the year and name of each FIFA World Cup™ winner since 1974. The 1974 tournament was the first to crown the champion with the brand new award that replaced the Jules Rimet Cup, which at that time was given to the nation that had managed to win the competition three times. The honoured country back then was Brazil.

The trophy will now spend three more days in the host nation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, before heading off to the tour’s first official stop, Tahiti. To stay up to date with all the latest information from the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour, including upcoming tour destinations and dates, plus interviews, photos and videos, please visit the official website or our official Facebook page. The tour’s official photo blogger can be found on Twitter at @trophytour with all the latest live posts directly from the events. 

Both the official Facebook and Twitter pages can be accessed through the links on the right.