Why Soccer Players Walk Out With Kids

Some 1,400 kids from 70 countries will have the honor at the World Cup.

ByABC News
June 20, 2014, 1:27 PM

— -- Player escorts are getting the thrill of their young lives walking onto the soccer field hand-in-hand with a player before the start of every game.

2014 FIFA World Cup TV Schedule and Results

Craziest World Cup Fans

This Is How to Use Your Head: Funny Faces Footballers Make

Indeed, for the 1,408 children selected by McDonald's -- who hail from 70 countries -- are enjoying the experience of a lifetime at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

One of those escorts, 6-year-old Abigail Mindes from Utah, will escort a player from the United States onto the field this Sunday when it takes on Portugal.

"It was a little surprise for me!" the first grader told ABC News affiliate KUCW.

With the World Cup entering its second week, there have already been moments where the young mascots have made lasting impression.

Australian midfielder Mark Bresciano said he was just doing what any parent or player would do when he bent down to tie the shoe of his escort onto the field last week -- a little boy who was on crutches.

"It’s always nice to have kids share that walk out because it is so special for them," Bresciano told the Brisbane Courier Mail.

"I had no idea the photo had been sent around the world," he said. "But I'm just glad the boy had a good time."

Even some of the World Cup's most famous faces know what it feels like to walk out with a soccer hero.

English striker Wayne Rooney, who scored his first ever World Cup goal on Thursday, was once a mascot for his local team, Everton.

Sign up for occasional World Cup dispatches from Brazil delivered right to your phone -- including the best photos and limited highlights -- by "starring" this story in ABC News' phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here.