It is the ultimate reward for a selection, a player or a trainer, the Jules Rimet cup which rewards the winner of the World Cup returns like every year to Italy to find all its beauty.
“Come on, let’s make it shine now…Before the 2022 World Cup, the World Cup got a makeover at its Italian creator, Bertoni, whose workers share with the winners the rare privilege of being able to touch the coveted trophy.
Like every four years, the most beautiful object of desire on the football planet returned to the suburbs of Milan for a meticulous inspection visit and a few brush and varnish strokes before leaving on tour among the 32 qualified countries, in waiting to see who will hold it up to the skies of Doha on December 18.
“When she returns, we see that it is a cut that has been celebrated! But that’s understandable: we have to fight to win it, so when we win it, there’s bound to be a lot of joy…smiles boss Valentina Losa, receiving AFP in front of windows filled with trophies – national and international – produced by the family business based in Paderno Dugnano.
The forty-something admits to beingstill very excited» when, after each World Cup, the trophy 36 cm high and weighing more than six kilos of solid gold and malachite (green stone visible at the base) returns: «It’s quite impressive to know that the greatest footballers have held it in their hands. We are among the few to be able to lift it, to know all its secrets!»
Fifty years old
All World Cup winners since 1930
The original of the World Cup can only be touched by ex-winners and heads of state, in addition to handling and maintenance operations, according to the FIFA website, which owns the award.
This cup surmounted by a terrestrial globe, the company GDE Bertoni created it more than fifty years ago.
After Brazil retained the previous winged trophy (Coupe Jules-Rimet) thanks to its third victory, in 1970, under the regulations of the time, Fifa launched a competition in which 53 companies applied.
“My father had designed this project with the sculptor and artistic director Silvio Gazzaniga. They went to Zurich with a plaster model and won the competition“explains the owner.
The maintenance of the original (cleaning, polishing, possible repairs, inscriptions of the winners on a disc below) took place some time ago. The Milanese company has been mostly busy in recent weeks with the production of the medals awarded to participants and winners and the finalization of the official replica of the cup.
Because if the world champions are given the original after the final, they can only keep a replica, identical to the eye of the non-expert but made of brass and gold-plated.
“a football team”
In the workshop where the workers are active, several moldings rub shoulders, in the middle of the shelves of metal parts, tools of all kinds and wash or gilding tubs. The most difficult task will be to choose the right pieces of the “puzzle“to succeed the”copy pastethe most exact of the original, down to the malachite veins.
“The process is old, it’s not mechanical, really handmade», explains the production manager, Salvatore Iannetti. “For us, it is a source of pride to be able to work as it was done years ago.»
“This work involves in turn a dozen people, almost a football team“, adds the 53-year-old man.
“We gonna make it shine now“, announces at his side Ahmed Ait Siti Abdelkader, ready to varnish the replica with a gun. The worker does not harbor too much hope that it can be won by Morocco, his country of origin: “We would love to, but it’s going to be hard…»
Salvatore Iannetti, tifoso at heart, knows he will have to wait until 2026 to hope to see Italy, which did not qualify for Qatar, brandish it a fifth time: “Not participating a second time in a row hurts, but Italy will play other competitions, we are biding our time!»
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