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It is the image that will be framed for posterity, the irrefutable proof of the conquest of the most precious prize in football, the moment in which the goalkeeper and captain of France, Hugo Lloris, lifted the FIFA World Cup.
Thus, dressed in yellow, surrounded by his companions, under the torrential downpour that bathed the Luzhiniki stadium in Moscow, Lloris was the first to kiss the coveted trophy with which he is awarded to the combined of France as champion of the 2018 World Cup of Russia after defeating to Croatia.
Then it passes from hand to hand between the players, the coaching staff and the affinity of the delegation, each wanting to touch the brilliant golden trophy in a ritual that is repeated every four years.
Once the lights of the stadium are extinguished, when the television transmissions cease and only the silent echo of the moments lived during the long journey for its conquest is heard, the intimate admiration of the Cup begins, the original, which will accompany the France back to Paris to be part of all the celebrations.
And it is after a few weeks, on a date that is never divulged exactly for security reasons, that the world champions will hand over the Cup to return to the tranquility of the small town of Paderno Dugnano in the metropolitan region of Milan, in the north from Italy.
There, in a small shed, located on a street in an industrial zone, the seven goldsmith workers of the company GDE Bertoni are ready to receive it.
His duty is to repair the footprints left after the holidays and leave the trophy as new, gra b ando circular base in the name of the ultimate champion.
“Four years ago it was his turn to do the engraving,” Pietro Bambrilla, 45, told his teammate Salvatore Iannetti, 48.
Iannetti agrees without giving apparent importance to the fact that he was responsible for writing the name of Germany as Brazil 2014 champion.
To carry out the registration, a large electronic machine is used, as if it were an industrial printer, with a mechanism similar to that of a pyrograph on the tip.
It is activated through a computer program that works from an old computer, like the one that many had in their homes many years ago.
The order to follow is: World Cup year, name of the winning country spelled according to your language (if Croatia won, it would have been written “2018-Hrvatska”).
Bambrilla, who has worked at the company for 20 years, remembers the party atmosphere that took place when the Cup was received to record the name of Italy in 2006.
This is the only mechanized process to which the trophy is hand-designed and crafted in 1971 by the goldsmith and sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, who died in 2016 at the age of 95.
The new trophy was commissioned after Brazil won the Jules Rimet Cup for the third time in 1970, as had been established from the beginning when the Soccer World Cup was born.
A competition was opened in which 53 companies from all over the world participated, being the company founded by Emilio Bertoni, of recognized experience after having designed the medals of the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960 , which presented the winning model.
The signature was directed at that time by Giorgio Losa, grandson of the founder, who was the person in charge of presenting a plaster replica to FIFA.
Thus, for the World Cup in Germany in 1974, the FIFA 18-carat gold trophy appeared, which the organism established that it would always be its property.
That did not mean the end of the work for the Italian company, which is also responsible for making the replicas that are delivered to the winning countries, although these are produced with a mixture of copper and zinc, bathed in three layers of gold .
It was one of those replicas that Bambrilla showed in the photos that illustrate this article, like the ones that each of the champions show in their trophy rooms: Germany (1974, 1990 and 2014), Argentina (1978 and 1986), Italy ( 1982 and 2006), Brazil (1994 and 2002), France (1998 and 2018) and Spain (2010).
Once the original trophy, which is presented in the final and part of the celebrations, is repaired and replaced the two green lines of its base that is made with a stone called malaquita, which according to Bambrilla is a very fragile material.
Then it is cleaned and polished again, being returned to the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
It is a process that lasts about two weeks and is usually performed incognito for security reasons so as not to disturb the tranquility of the town of Paderno Dugnano, of some 47,000 inhabitants.
Valentina Losa, great-granddaughter of the founder and director of the company GDE Bertoni since 2010, knows the responsibility that they have, but highlights the pride that it was for her to grow knowing that the most prestigious trophy of the most popular sport in the world returned to “home” every four years.
“These are special days when all the details need to be observed, it’s about honoring our history, ” he says.
At this point the leaders of the French Football Federation already have in their possession the replica that will adorn their showcases, while in Zurich already count the days for the arrival of the original, which shone in 1974 and will wait to be raised again in four years, at the Qatar World Cup 2022.