China Is Obsessed with World Cup Mascot La’eeb

Without a team of their own to support, Chinese soccer fans are making their own versions of this year’s World Cup mascot.

The official mascot of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is La’eeb, a cutesy figure whose name means ‘super-skilled player’ in Arabic.

On the Chinese lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, posts showing how to DIY La’eeb out of tissues and put keffiyehs on pets are blowing up.

La’eeb even has a Chinese nickname: ‘dumpling wrapper’ (饺子皮).

One Weibo user called it “the best-looking and cutest” World Cup mascot ever. Others have praised its simple, localized design.

Chinese fans have also compared La’eeb to a Qatari prince who went viral for his dramatic facial expressions during the match between Qatar and Ecuador.

Chinese media has also made much of the fact that mascot-related merchandise, including hats, figurines, and plush dolls, is being manufactured in South China’s Guangdong province.

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