Either Lionel Messi or Hugo Lloris will hoist the World Cup on Sunday, December 18, in Qatar. The triumphant finalist will join an exclusive club who have even touched the 18-carat trophy.
Argentina and France clash in the World Cup final, the culmination of a thrilling tournament in the Middle East.
With the world’s eyes on the Lusail Stadium, FIFA will be carefully enforcing strict rules that restrict who is allowed to touch their prize.
The World Cup trophy is one of the key symbols of football and the biggest prize in sport. FIFA protect it at all costs … though they’ve slipped up before.
MORE: FIFA World Cup final 2022: Argentina vs France prediction, odds
Who can touch the World Cup trophy?
An extremely exclusive list of people are allowed to touch the World Cup trophy with their bare hands, including tournament winning players and coaches, heads of state and FIFA officials.
FIFA will have drawn up a specific list of attendees allowed to handle it at Sunday’s final.
Every four years the six kilogram prize tours the globe under 24-hour water-tight security.
When the trophy lands in the USA, for example, President Joe Biden is the only man from a population of 330 million officially allowed to touch it.
FIFA rules on who can touch World Cup trophy
The World Cup trophy is estimated to be worth around $20million (£17.7m), so FIFA take no chances.
When the trophy is transported, the handler must wear gloves and is under intense scrutiny.
It is often displayed at the governing body’s museum in Zurich, Switzerland, but they keep their top prize’s private safe-place a secret.
FIFA had to learn from their mistakes, having struggled to keep the first World Cup trophy safe. The predecessor of today’s 18-carat icon, known as the Jules Rimet trophy, was stolen multiple times.
At the 1966 World Cup in London, the Jules Rimet was stolen before being found in a hedge by a dog named Pickles.
Brazil became the first team to win three World Cups in 1970 and they were awarded the trophy permanently, only for thieves to steal it in 1983. It has not been seen since.
MORE: List of World Cup winners in men’s FIFA tournament history
What happened when Rihanna touched World Cup trophy?
Pop artist Rihanna became a fixture at the 2014 World Cup, regularly being spotted in the stands enjoying the action in Brazil.
The “Umbrella” singer was invited to Germany’s victory party after watching Mario Gotze score an extra-time winner at the Maracana.
FIFA must have taken their eyes off the prize, because Rihanna was pictured holding the trophy as she posed with the likes of Gotze, Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Afterward, she tweeted: “I touched the cup, held the cup, kissed the cup, took a selfie with the cup!!! I meeeaan…… what is YO bucket list looking like bruh?”
Rihanna in World Cup 2014 pic.twitter.com/wRoAYGkIbB
— Pacho (@JulioCore98) December 13, 2022
Does World Cup winner keep trophy?
FIFA carefully insist that the original, $20million trophy remains their property no matter who earns it on the field.
From the moment the victorious captain is handed the trophy, players are allowed to celebrate with it on the pitch and in their dressing room. At this point, the official trophy is whisked away and the winners are presented with the “FIFA World Cup Winner’s Trophy.”
The Winners Trophy is a bronze, gold-plated replica. A new one is crafted for each tournament and can be kept temporarily by the winning team’s football association.
However, it remains the property of FIFA and the governing body can demand its immediate return Zurich at any time.