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Fiorentina is joining the ranks of clubs with official mascots

This is in no way a reference to Nenad Tomović.

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A sleepy male lion (Panthera leo) yawning (yawning sequence...
More appropriate for a Delio Rossi side, maybe, but it’s a great picture.
Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

AC Milan have the horrifying devil-baby Milanello. Juventus have Madagascar film series reject Jay Zebra. AS Roma have the vampirically chipper wolf Romolo. And now Fiorentina are poised to get in the mascot game with a lion whose name and appearance remain shrouded in mystery, although there is at least one concept sketch.

This new mascot from parts unknown is the product of a partnership between the club and the Scuola Internazionale di Comics, a graphic design academy that has one of its many branches in Florence. The students will submit designs which fans will vote on, although the timeline for all this isn’t yet certain.

A lion certainly makes some sense as a critter for the Viola. The Medici lions are one of the symbols of the city, a pair of sculptures still visible in the Loggia dei Lanzi near the Uffizi. The lion’s famous posture, with one foot resting on a sphere, was originally a reference to the rulers of Florence (whose sigil had five balls), but it does have a certain soccer meaning if you squint at it a bit. And of course, when your all time leading scorer is il Re Leone, a lion is never a bad choice.

When the designs hit the public eye and the voting opens, we’ll point everyone to the appropriate venues for the big choice. Really, though, let’s all hope that some enterprising youngster comes up with a Viola equivalent to Kingsley.

Partick Thistle v Queen of the South (Ladbrokes Championship)
All shall love him and despair.
Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group via Getty Images