In a post published on Saturday, I wrote about the Mexico 1986 World Cup mascot, Pique, and my quest to find a Panini sticker bearing its likeness.
In today's post, the mascot of the 1990 World Cup is my focus.
No, I didn't have trouble trying to find a foil sticker of the character. As far as I can recall, I did manage to find one for my collection.
What I do have is quite a random story about it.
In 1989, a year before Italy hosted the tournament, I went on holiday to Malta. Upon arrival at the hotel we were set to stay at for a fortnight, I noticed a green,red and white statue with a football as a head on the shelf behind the desk.
One of the cool parts of the holiday was befriending the hotel manager. He taught me a trick that allowed me to get the balls out of the pool table without having to put money in the slot. Most importantly - in regards to today's topic - is he was the person who clued me in on what the football-headed statue was.
He told me he was the mascot for the 1990 World Cup, which was set to be held the following year in Italy.
It all made sense considering the statue's colours were the same as the Italian flag.
Another person from the holiday I remember being nice to me was the rep who looked after us. I can't remember her name, but I do remember that - when she would walk into the room each day before our excursions - she would greet all the families with a 'CIAO!'
Everybody would shout it back to her.
Why did I mention this?
Well - in a very interesting coincidence, I looked up the name of the mascot. I didn't know what it was called until I looked it up for today's post.
It was named Ciao.
After finding out its name, I looked for it on eBay. I found many items for sale with its likeness, but one thing stood out the most.
It was the statue just like what was standing on the desk in the hotel. The seller wants £250 for it.
If I'm not going to pay £40 for a Pique Mexico 86 Panini sticker, I'm absolutely not going to spend £250 on Ciao!