Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will hand the winners of the 2014 World Cup the trophy after the final in Brazil.
Ordinarily, it's the head of state or senior football figures in the host country who would get the big moment (with FIFA president Sepp Blatter not too far away, of course), but according to Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein of The Boston Globe, there is concern that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will be booed, as she was at the opening ceremony:
(Appearing at the soccer tournament’s opening ceremony the other night, Rousseff received what might charitably be called a Bronx cheer for spending $11 billion on the World Cup at a time when tens of millions of Brazilians are poor.) So who’ll hand the trophy to the winner? Brazil’s most beautiful export: Gisele Bundchen. We’re told Tom Brady’s supermodel spouse was asked by FIFA to do the job and, barring any riots that would make it unsafe, she will. As for her husband, we’re told he’ll be joining Bundchen in Brazil.
There's no official confirmation on the plans as of yet, but it's a move that would make a lot of sense and have plenty of upside for the organisers.
Gisele, by comparison to Rousseff and Blatter, is considerably harder to boo. And given her global profile, the 33-year-old is likely to take the edge off any negativity around the conclusion of the ceremony.
Of course, if Brazil go ahead and win the tournament, you can expect all the cynicism and anger to be put on hold long enough to celebrate.
But if any other nation scoops the trophy, getting Gisele would be a pretty good backup plan.