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By LAM KA-JHUN, MISTIKA IDRIS and TAN JEN LI
brats@thestar.com.my

IT’S a sacred part of football history that not many people get to see in person, at least not until now. And for those who have been in its presence, chances are, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

We’re talking about the FIFA World Cup trophy, the most coveted and revered piece of silverware (or should we say “goldenware”?) in the history of the beautiful game – and we BRATs were right there to behold it in all its shiny glory.

FIFA World Cup arrived in Malaysia.

FIFA World Cup arrived in Malaysia.

The trophy was in Kuala Lumpur as part of the World Cup Trophy Tour, which brought the trophy to 88 countries around the world over 267 days before it finally returns to Brazil in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Sure, some younger football fans will probably find the UEFA Champions League the more glamourous prize, especially with the popularity of European club football these days.

But no one can argue with the sheer amount of history that little golden statue has been a part of, having been lifted by the likes of Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbaur and, most recently, the Spanish team that has been hailed オンライン カジノ as possibly the best national side of all time.

And of course there’s the fact that over 9,000 people turned up at the Putra World Trade Centre, KL to have a look at it – and presumably get a few selfies with it.

The venue, a Chinese restaurant, was completely transformed into a true football fan experience. There was foosball, bubble football, freestyle footballers and even some samba dancers flown all the way from Brazil.

The official mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup was also there – Fulesco the armadillo.

Visitors were also treated with the opportunity to view a special hologram show of some of the most memorable moments in World Cup history.

Andrew Wigham, the manager of the event, said: “It is always fantastic to bring something like the World Cup to Malaysia. Not many people get the privilege to see the trophy and it is here, and you get to stand right next to it.”

During a press conference in the morning, FIFA Ambassador and former Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke was asked by a football fan if he thought Malaysia could one day reach the World Cup.

FIFA World Cup

Football Association of Malaysia vice-president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal (third from left) and Annamaria Gazda, the global football manager for Coca-Cola, showing off the FIFA World Cup trophy, which arrived from Hanoi accompanied by FIFA ambassador and former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (second from left).

His response was that if the government invests well at the grassroots level, there is no reason it can’t happen. He added that the passion, skill and history are obviously there, but to achieve top-level success, you ultimately need commitment and dedication.

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