Fuleco the Armadillo is the official mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. It is a Brazilian three-banded armadillo, a species of armadillo which is native to Brazil and categorized as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List, it was officially launched as part of Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo’s weekly Fantástico entertainment show on 25 November 2012. He is a likeable character - he scores 7.3 out of 10 on appeal. Research has revealed that he is seen as an appealing character widely thought to represent the words, 'Brazil', 'Nature', 'Friendly' and 'Passion for Football'. It is a portmanteau of the words Futebol (football) and Ecologia (Ecology). The name Fuleco was chosen over the names Amijubi (Amizade - Friendship and Júbilo - Joy) and Zuzeco (Azul - Blue and Ecologia - Ecology) by more than 1.7 million football fans. The mascot, with its message of environmental concerns, the ecology and the sport turned out to be very popular with football teams around the world.
In the word, Fuleco, the part Ful comes from Futebol (Football) and eco comes Ecologia (Ecology). His birthday coincides with New Year's Day.It is a Brazilian three-banded armadillo which is an endangered species and plays a major part in the environmental drive. Over 90% of Brazilians believe Brazil 2014 should be environmentally friendly.The name Fuleco won out over Zuzeco and Amijubi with 48% of the vote.
The final mascot design was chosen after FIFA and the LOC had analyzed 47 different proposals created by six different Brazilian agencies. The designs were further analyzed through extensive research carried out amongst its primary target audience, Brazilian children between the ages of five and twelve, with the favourite being the armadillo, created by 100%Design.
Fuleco is seen as a cheerful and appealing personality. It is also one of the most popular FIFA World Cup mascots of all time, with 89% Brazilians already having seen the mascot within two days of its announcement. With it being a part of an endangered species, and being a major part in the environmental drive for the tournament, it has become more popular, particularly with kids. It scores 7.3 out of 10 at appeal, which recent researches have concluded that the words also resemble Brazilian, nature, friendly and passion for football.