Children aged between three and 13 have submitted more than 500 ideas for a mascot for next year's European Championships in Munich ©Munich 2022

Entries have closed for the competition to design a mascot for next year’s European Championships in Munich with a juror admitting the pressure is on to find a worthy successor to Waldi.

Waldi was the dachshund dog who became the first official Olympic mascot when the Bavarian city hosted the Olympic Games in 1972.

The competition to design a mascot for the multi-sport event which will be the centrepiece of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Munich 1972 was open to children aged between three and 13.

The official closing date was last Monday (May 31).

German officials have announced they received more than 500 entrants.

Ideas included pandas, unicorns, robots, squirrels and sporty mythical creatures.

"In order to live up to our slogan 'Back to the Roofs', we had to come up with something very special for our mascot," Marion Schöne, the managing director of Olympiapark München GmbH, said.

"Arousing enthusiasm and sympathy is a skill that children especially have in the cradle - this is how the idea of the mascot competition came about."

Waldi was created for Munich 1972 by renowned German designer Otl Aicher, who amongst others was also responsible for designing the logo for German airline Lufthansa.

It was based on a real long-haired dachshund named Cherie von Birkenhof, which Aicher used as a model.

"I am very happy to be part of the decision as a juror and I am not only looking forward to the many creative suggestions, but also to see who will inherit the great Otl Aicher," said Schöne.

There were two mascots for the first European Championships in 2018, an event shared between Glasgow and Berlin.

Bonnie the Seal was the mascot in Scotland after being designed by around 100 children aged between seven and 12, chosen from three primary schools in Glasgow.

The name - a Scottish word meaning beautiful or attractive - was chosen in an online public vote and an entire backstory for the character was created by children's author Ross McKenzie.

For the German leg of the Championships, the popular Berlino was reborn.

Berlino had become a cult figure during the 2009 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in the German capital when he posed with and goofed around with the medal winners, including Jamaica's Usain Bolt.

The European Championships in Munich are due to take place between August 11 and 21 and are due to feature nine sports, including athletics, cycling, rowing and triathlon.

The winner of the mascot for Munich 2022 is expected to be announced later this year.