Photo: Alexander Hassenstein (Getty)

Creating a mascot for your international sporting event can be fraught with peril. Izzy, originally Whatizit, was the mascot of the 1996 Olympics and is still mocked today. London’s mascots for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were simply amorphous blobs. The 2006 World Cup, held in Germany, had a Jim Henson Company-created pantsless lion, with his terrifying talking soccer ball sidekick. Fun!

But they’ll continue to make mascots. Occasionally they hit, like the 2018 Olympics and Paralympics mascots. And even if they fail, does it really matter? It’s for kids. But the mascot of the Euro 2020 tournament, which was recently put on display to mark one year until the European soccer championship begins, is terrifying.

Photo: Alexander Hassenstein (Getty)

Meet Skillzy. Yes, Skillzy. Look at this dude. Instead of choosing a fluffy animal or even a weird blob thing, the Euro 2020 organizers just made a mascot-shaped dude wearing a colorblocked hoodie, capris, and knockoff sneakers. He even has flesh-colored mascot calves!

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You’ll note he also has the undercut hairstyle that is popular with footballers and fascists, with a little tuft of hair swishing back the other way.

Photo: Alexander Hassenstein (Getty)

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And those eyes! They are too big, and too close together. That there appears to be a stitch between his nose and his mouth is creepier still.

You might think he looks better next to actual human beings, but it’s actually much worse.

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Skillzy at a Euro 2020 qualifier in March.
Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos (Getty)

Next to these two soccer freestylers dressed similarly, he looks even creepier. And why do they get to have regular-length sweats while he has to wear flood pants?

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Euro 2020 is less than a year away. It’s time for you to start preparing mentally to look at this mascot.

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