The official trophy of the 2014 FIFA World Cup arrived in Colombia’s capital of Bogota this morning, where it was received by President Juan Manual Santos, national media reported on Tuesday.
Colombia marks the 66th stop on the Coca-Cola-sponsored “Trophy Tour,” eventually scheduled to cover some 89 countries in the buildup to the tournament’s kickoff in Brazil this June. The trophy’s most recent stop was in Quito, Ecuador, where it left by private plane for the Colombian capital.
President Juan Manuel Santos received the trophy in the Presidential Palace Tuesday morning, and used the opportunity to talk about his recent visit to Colombia’s injured national team captain Radamal Falcao.
“Soccer unites us because it provides us with optimism. Our stars also give us lessons of optimism. When I greeted Falcao and asekd him how he was doing, he told me: ‘optimisitc,'”the president was quoted as saying by the La Semana newspaper.
Santos also had positive messages regarding Colombia’s prospects for the tournament itself, indicating that he expects the national team to reach at least the semifinals, from which point, he said, anything is possible.
On Wednesday the trophy will be presented to the public in the El Campin stadium where fans can take pictures with it, according to the El Espectador newspaper. The presentation will be accompanied by musical and sporting activities intended to transmit the feeling of Rio de Janeiro’s carnival.
Falcao or no, Colombia will be the fourth-ranked team in the world heading into the World Cup this summer, its first since 1998.