Today the global leg of the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola kicked off with an official launch ceremony in London, with former FIFA World Cup™ winners Sir Geoff Hurst of England and Andrea Pirlo of Italy on hand to celebrate and send the FIFA World Cup Original Trophy off on its worldwide journey.

Starting today, Coca-Cola is inviting fans around the world to get #ReadyFor the highly anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup™ by giving them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close to the same Trophy that will be presented to the winning country of the tournament in July. The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will visit 91 cities, across 51 countries and six continents, giving thousands of fans the chance to experience football’s most coveted prize.

This is the fourth time in history that Coca-Cola and FIFA have come together to bring the Trophy Tour to the world. This year, the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour will touch down in a number of nations for the first time ever, including Iceland, Austria and Mongolia.

“As football fans around the world gear up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, we want to make sure they are ready for all of the emotions that this summer’s tournament will bring,” said Ricardo Fort, Vice President of Global Sports Partnerships, The Coca-Cola Company. “The Trophy Tour will give fans everywhere a taste of the excitement that’s to come, not to mention a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Trophy for themselves.”

“Following the success of the first phase of the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour, which gave more than 220,000 people across Russia the chance to see the FIFA World Cup Trophy with their own eyes, we are very excited to now offer this unforgettable opportunity to football fans around the world.” added Phillipe Le Floc’h, Chief Commercial Officer, FIFA. “The next few months are going to bring joy and wonder to hundreds of thousands of people from over 50 countries, and we thank Coca-Cola for partnering with us in taking the FIFA World Cup to the world.”

Andrea Pirlo added : “It is a great honour that I could be here today to send-off the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour plane on its journey around the globe. The memories of that amazing Berlin night of 2006 right after Fabio Grosso’s penalty are still fresh in my mind. I cannot wait to find out who will lift this precious sporting icon after the Final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This Trophy represents the absolute pinnacle of a player's career.”

Before starting on its global tour, the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola travelled across Russia for three months, spanning more than 16,000 kilometers and visiting 16 cities, making it the longest host country tour in history.