The official mascot of UEFA EURO 2024 has been named Albärt following a vote of UEFA.com users and schoolchildren across Europe, through the UEFA Football in Schools programme.
The teddy bear follows in the illustrious, oversized footsteps of the likes of Berni, Goaliath, Rabbit and Kinas, who were all mascots at EURO final tournaments. Bärnardo, Bärnheart and Herzi von Bär (all puns on the German word for bear) were also shortlisted as names for the mascot, but Albärt won with 32% of the vote.
The ursine mascot was first introduced to German fans ahead of the national team’s June 20 friendly against Colombia at the Arena AufSchalke, but made his debut the same morning at a primary school elsewhere in Gelsenkirchen, highlighting the ambition to inspire children across Europe to get active and encourage the love of football and its values.
“As a parent, I know how important it is to stimulate children’s imagination,” explains Phillip Lahm, EURO 2024 tournament director. “With the launch of our tournament mascot, we hope to create a fun and likeable character that will inspire them to enjoy football.”
The mascot is starting its #MakeMoves journey in schools across Europe, challenging students to use their own physical activity to bring the mascot to life and make it move. Kids can create their own special abilities and celebrations and have them transformed into mascot animations for the tournament using advanced motion capture technology.
Celia Šašić, EURO 2024 Tournament Ambassador and DFB Vice President, added: “You can’t lay the foundations of movement, playfulness and team spirit early enough. It’s great to see UEFA inspire the next generation to build confidence , live an active lifestyle and understand the importance of team spirit – all important life lessons that will shape their future. This mascot will convey that powerful message.”
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