On its first trip as a member of an official FIFA delegation, the 2014 FIFA World Cup mascot visited the Belo Horizonte stadium, helped plant the new pitch and had an official meeting. Here's what it had to say...
*“Folks, I’m so excited, as it’s been a very special day for me. I’m the first armadillo to be chosen as a FIFA World Cup™ mascot and I’m at a venue where the games will take place. I couldn’t help myself and was the first to arrive at the Mineirao. I scurried on ahead to see the stadium and left the FIFA Secretary General and all the others behind.
I must admit I was really thrilled. I kept wondering what it’d be like to hear the fans chanting my name, which is yet to be chosen. The stadium already has many seats in place and looks great. Imagine it on a FIFA World Cup matchday!
After taking a good look at the arena, I had the honour of helping plant some of the new pitch. Yes, that's right: they gave me a few sods of grass and we planted them. It’ll soon be a green pitch and we can get the ball rolling – and not just the ball, mind you, but me as well. As a genuine armadillo, I’ll be rolling around on the pitch too.
Soon afterwards, I joined my friends at the press conference. A mass of photographers and reporters wanted to find out details about the FIFA World Cup. And they couldn’t stop taking pictures of me. I admit I’m shy by nature, often rolling up into a ball, but you know I actually enjoyed all the attention? After all, I'll have to get used to it for 2014.
After our visit to the Mineirao, we headed off to the office of the Governor of Minas Gerais, Antonio Anastasia. Who would have thought that I, a mere armadillo, would be received with honours at the Government Palace? But now I'm a pretty important armadillo...
Well, it's time to say goodbye to Minas Gerais. On Wednesday, I'll be in Porto Alegre. There will be churrasco (grilled meat), chimarrão (a traditional infusion) and, of course, another beautiful stadium to see up close. See you there.”*