FIFA president Infantino leads tributes to World Cup designer
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said football will be "eternally grateful" to World Cup trophy creator Silvio Gazzaniga, who has died at the age of 95.
The Italian passed away in his home city of Milan on Monday, with his son Giorgio saying he had died "peacefully in his sleep", according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Gazzaniga, who became one of the most distinguished sculptors in Italy during a career spanning several decades, helped to design a number of footballing trophies, including the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.
He is best remembered as the creator of the World Cup trophy, however, which replaced the original Jules Rimet trophy awarded to Brazil in 1970.
"It's with great sadness that I learned of the death of Silvio Gazzaniga," Infantino said in a statement. "He was the creator of a trophy, which is the most beautiful emblem that FIFA could dream of having as a prize.
"The World Cup is a mythic object for the players and for all football lovers. We will be eternally grateful, I express my condolences by joining the pain of the family."
Gazzaniga said that the trophy - which is solid 18-carat gold and weighs approximately six kilograms - was designed to reflect the tournament's global reach and the moment of jubilation for the victors.
"The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world," he said. "From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory.
"A work of art is a bit like one's child, as it's a creation. And I'm not just talking about the World Cup: the same is true for everything I did."