FIFA
FIFA IANS

The FIFA World Cup trophy arrived here as part of a 50-nation tour scheduled to culminate in Russia in time for the start of the 2018 football tournament on June 14.

Several veterans of the Argentine squad that won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986, including Mario Alberto Kempes and Jorge Burruchaga, attended the tour presentation event on Thursday, the first Argentine stop of which was Tucuman, reports Efe.

The trophy will move on to Rosario, the birthplace of Lionel Messi, captain and star of the current edition of the national side.

The tour arrived in the South American country a few days after Argentina was routed 6-1 by Spain in a friendly match in Madrid, a result that had alarm bells ringing regarding the shape of the team ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Argentine Football Association president Claudio "Chiqui" Tapia -- who marked one year as the head of the organisation on Thursday -- stressed that the trophy's arrival could be an "omen of humility."

(IANS)