She is married to a man who plays a different kind of football – American great Tom Brady, but is native of a country where real football is religion. Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen’s hope and prayer till World Cup semi final would have been to walk on the field, just before the July 13th FIFA World Cup finals at Rio’s Marcana Stadium, against the backdrop of a sea of yellow and green flags and raucous samba drum beats. After all she has had been given the rare honour by FIFA to escort the World Cup winners trophy onto the pitch on Sunday evening, but how things have changed in the space of that unbelievable 90 minutes of Brazil and Germany match. With a nation in mourning Bündchen will now expectedly be in a very somber mood.
She has been chosen for the unique role because of her long association with the French luxury giant Louis Vuitton, which for the second time running has created a custom-made monogrammed leather and brass case to house the 6-kilo, 14-inch high FIFA trophy. And she will have to be extra careful keeping in mind that the last time the trophy was in Rio in 1983, it was stolen, never to be seen again. It is believed to have been melted down by thieves.
There has also been furious speculation, particularly on fashion websites around the world, in the last few weeks that Bündchen would actually be asked to play the bigger role of handing out the trophy to the winning team. The talk being that Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff , who would have otherwise been the presenter, would not want to be seen in the limelight because of her massive unpopularity in the country. She has been under attack by protestors in recent times over the $11 billion that was spent in organizing the tournament, a sentiment now made worse by the Brazilian team’s humiliating defeat yesterday. Additionally, she is also seeking re-election later this year.
Louis Vuitton, which issued a press release yesterday however has only this to say: “The case carrying the FIFA trophy will enter the pitch of the Maracana stadium on 13 July 2014, the evening of the FIFA World Cup™ Final, at the side of Gisele Bündchen, a fashion icon and friend of the Maison Louis Vuitton.”