An amazing announcement was made this past weekend as Japan, in a partnership with Adidas, revealed that their mascots for the 2014 FIFA World Cup would be Pikachu and 10 other Pokémon. The electric mouse and pals will be heading to the football stadium to battle in Brazil for the World’s most prized possession in sports. Find out which other Pokémon made the cut after the break.
In all honesty, I thought this was a hoax when I read the news this weekend. But it has been confirmed not only on the official Pokémon Japan website, but also on Adidas Japan’s page. Pikachu will be joined by the three Indigo League starters Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle; the three Kalos League starters Chespin, Fennekin, and Froakie; as well as Pancham, Helioptile, Litleo, and Meowth. This squad of Pokémon all-stars are sure to make a big splash in Japan when it comes to marketing ROI.
The image above debuted along with the announcement, featuring all 11 Pokémon wearing official Adidas football jerseys especially made for the tournament. The 2014 World Cup already has its own mascot named Fuleco, a yellow and blue armadillo, but I’m pretty sure he would lose against this adorable team of ass-kickers.
Japan’s national football team made its big debut in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. They were eliminated after the group stage. Nicknamed the Blue Samurai, the national football team of Japan have only made it as far as the top sixteen in 2002 and then again in 2010.
This year Japan will be facing off against Colombia, Greece, and Ivory Coast in Group C. The winner of Group C will face the runner-up from Group D in first round of knockout matches, which could be Uruguay, Coasta Rica, England, or Italy.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins on June 12 and will continue through July 13.
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