World Cup-winning Stamps
It'll surely only be a matter of time before the German national football team are featured on stamps back home, in honour the team's worthy win at the 2014 World Cup. The likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and of course, Mario Götze are all worthy of such a celebration after their inspiring performance throughout the tournament.
Whether it happens or not, they won't be the first players to be recognised in stamp form. Here are a few other examples of World Cup-winning stamps:
The very first World Cup took place in Uruguay and was a small affair comprising of only 13 teams. With the home advantage, one can only surmise, Uruguay won, beating Argentina 4-2. No stamps were issued by any country at the time, but since, the win has been marked in stamp form by Yemen, Uruguay and Nicaragua. They feature the Jules Rimet trophy being handed to a very serious and portly 'representative from Uruguay' and another with players from both sides during the final.
No blog on World Cup-winning stamps would be complete without mentioning England's heroes in red from 1966. The then Postmaster General commissioned three general 1966 World Cup stamps before the tournament opened. Following the now legendary win against West Germany, Royal Mail adapted one of the stamps - featuring two players, one in red, one in blue - adding the caption: 'England winners'. In 2006, stamps were issued to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the win and in the Isle of Man, six more were released, depicting key moments from England's victorious campaign.
By 2002, winning the World Cup was pretty much old hat for Brazil and they collected their fifth title in Japan / South Korea with ease (eliminating England in the quarter finals). Once the tournament had ended, Japan celebrated the outcome with stamps that detailed several matches, including the final, with tiny football pitches and score lines. Brazil, on the other hand, issued a single stamp, in traditional green and yellow, featuring five gold stars and both the Jules Rimet and second-generation Fifa World Cup Trophy.
Wait - Scotland? Top marks for wishful thinking here. In 1978, the year in which Argentina won on home turf, Scotland was the only British team to qualify and the nation's hopes rested on their dark blue shoulders. Optimistic of the Tartan Army's success, two stamps were commissioned by the Royal Mail, showing Scotland captain Bruce Rioch holding aloft the World Cup trophy. The artwork was completed ahead of the tournament, ready, just in case. Sadly, Scotland didn't make it past the group stage. The stamp, which of course was never issued, remains one of the rarest World Cup winners stamps in existence.