Skillzy was revealed as the UEFA Euro 2020 mascot on March 25, 2019 as part of the organisation’s ‘Your Move’ campaign.UEFA believes it has broken new ground with regards to mascots with Skillzy, marrying the traditional life-sized mascot with a more interactive figure for the modern day. Essentially, Skillzy, whose launch at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam was a deliberate nod to one of the game’s most skilful ever players, is a freestyle footballer who is capable of “a dazzling array of tricks”. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The thinking behind UEFA’s move is to reflect “younger fans’ passion for other forms of football outside the traditional 11-a-side game”.This was showcased when he was unveiled prior to a qualifier between the Netherlands and Germany alongside Liv Cooke and Tobias Becs, who have been named as official UEFA Euro 2020 Freestylers.“We wanted to move away from the traditional mascot that we have seen at previous UEFA EUROs in order to create a symbol that is able to interact more closely with football fans across the continent,” said Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA. “It is important that UEFA appeals to football fans of all ages, and by creating a mascot which is actually able to physically play the game we all love, this will inspire youngsters from Dublin to Baku to try and emulate the tricks that Skillzy, Liv Cooke and Tobias Becs are able to master.”With Euro 2020 to be played all over the continent, the aim is to make the tournament as inclusive as possible, and Skillzy is meant to represent this.As Cooke explained: “Being able to take the beauty of freestyling, street football and panna to football fans all over Europe is a really special opportunity.“Whether it’s playing in the park or on the world stage, whether it’s football or freestyling, it’s about expressing yourself with the ball at your feet.”Indeed, Your Move invites fans to do this, with budding freestyles offered the chance to represent their city by performing unique freestyle moves that could lead to them being given their chance to showcase their skills at Euro 2020 events.Past European Championship MascotsSince Euro 1980 in Italy, a mascot for the competition has been a fixture in the competition, with the last nine tournaments enjoying such representation.Pinocchio was the first European Championship finals mascot, based on the story written by Carlo Collodi. In France four years later, Peno appeared. It was a white cockerel, the symbol of the French national team, that was more obviously designed with football in mind as it wore a blue strip, football boots and gloves.West Germany and Sweden in 1988 and 1992 both had rabbits as mascots, named Berni and Rabbit respectively. Both were dressed in footballing attire.Euro 96 in England saw a nod to the country’s famous ‘Three Lions’ with Goaliath. With echoes of World Cup Willie – a lion used as the mascot for the 1966 World Cup in the country – it was dressed in an England shirt and held a football under its arm.The joint nature of the Netherlands and Belgium European Championship of 2000 was reflected by a mascot that merged the footballing traditions of the two nations and took its name from the Benelux group of countries that also includes Luxembourg. Benelucky was a lion with a devil’s tail and human hands. Its mane was multi-coloured, representing the colours of both host nations.Portugal 2004 started a move away from animals to more recognisable, human figures. Kinas, who was the mascot of that competition, was simply a cartoon boy.For the joint bids from Austria and Switzerland in 2008 and Poland and Ukraine in 2012 came two sets of twins, Trix and Flix, and Slavek and Slavko respectively, who were dressed in the colours of the nations.France 2016 followed that trend in 2016 with Super Victor, who was a child in the French national colours, with a cape, which along with his boots and ball are claimed to bring him superpowers.Skillzy, therefore, continues the recent tradition of mascots in the form of cartoon humans.
MSK Prasad defends MS Dhoni’s World Cup show: He was a big strengthSenior selection committee chairman stressed that MS Dhoni is still the best gloveman for India in the shorter formats of the game but maintained Rishabh Pant will get more opportunities across all three formats of the game in the near future.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 31, 2019UPDATED: July 31, 2019 17:58 IST MS Dhoni is still the best gloveman and finisher in limited-overs cricket in India, says MSK Prasad (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSMS Dhoni was a big strength to team at World Cup 2019: MSK PrasadDhoni made himself unavailable for selection for the West Indies tourMSK Prasad has reiterated Rishabh Pant will be given more opportunities in all 3 formatsIndia’s senior selection committee chairman MSK Prasad has reiterated that MS Dhoni is still the best wicketkeeper and finisher in the shorter formats of the game in the country.MSK Prasad, responding to a question on wether the selectors compromised the balance of the Indian middle-order in order to fit in MS Dhoni, said the veteran wicketkeeper’s experience was key to Virat Kohli-led team at World Cup 2019 in England.Dhoni collected 273 runs from 9 matches at 45.50 but his approach in the middle-order was questioned. Dhoni took time to settle into his innings on most occassions. In the semi-final defeat to New Zealand MS Dhoni combined with Ravindra Jadeja to steer India out of trouble as the duo took the team from 92 for 6 to 208 for 7 in chase of 240. Dhoni hit a 72-ball 50 but was run out after he started to attack the New Zealand pacers at the death.”I can clearly say this that till today MS [Dhoni] is the best gloveman and finisher in India in the shorter formats. The others are still work in progress. MS was a big strength to this team in the World Cup both as a batsman and keeper, apart from sharing his vast experience with the team and captain while taking on-field decisions,” MSK Prasad told PTI.MS Dhoni was not considered for selection for India’s upcoming tour of West Indies, starting August 3 in the United States. Dhoni had approached the BCCI for a 2-month sabbatical during which he would serve the Paramilitary regiment of the Indian Army.advertisementReiterating that more chances will be given to Rishabh Pant across all formats of the game in the near future, MSK Prasad remained tight-lipped on wether MS Dhoni will be considered for selection once he makes himself available for the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh from September.Prasad had confirmed that MS Dhoni will not be available for selection for West Indies tour while maintaining that a legendary player like him should be allowed to go out on his own terms.”I have very clearly told post the selection of the Indian team against West Indies, that we have a plan post World Cup to give as many opportunities as possible to Rishabh and groom him so that he can grow in confidence and perform as per the requirements of the team,” MSK Prasad said.Pant has been picked as the first-choice wicketkeeper in all 3 formats for India’s tour of West Indies. Wriddhiman Saha, who is set to make his comeback after injury setbacks, has been selected as the back-up wicketkeeper in Tests.Also Read | Virat Kohli’s comments on Ravi Shastri will not influence CAC: Anshuman GaekwadAlso Read | Fighter Prithvi will come out of doping setback stronger: Childhood coachAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow MSK PrasadFollow MS DhoniFollow India tour of West Indies 2019Follow India cricket team