Following the announcement in Berlin yesterday that MasterCard will be an official partner at UEFA EURO 2004™, football legends Eusébio and Pelé attended a press conference today at Lisbon's exclusive Hotel da Lapa.
Having enjoyed a long-standing relationship with UEFA, MasterCard Europe chief marketing officer Arjen Krüger said: "These are historical days for MasterCard - the largest sponsor of this beautiful game." He went on to add that the first 1,000 people to apply for tickets using MasterCard will have guaranteed seats and that one of the main objectives was to "promote the superb destination that Portugal is to all MasterCard holders".
Gilberto Madaíl, Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) President and Chairman of the Board of Euro 2004, S.A., welcomed MasterCard as an official partner of UEFA EURO 2004™ and highlighted MasterCard's long partnership with football. He added: "Today we are in the presence of two living legends - Eusébio and Pelé. If we had both of them in our team in 2004, there is no doubt we would win the tournament!"
The Brazilian great Pelé, as Ambassador of MasterCard, was delighted to be in Portugal. He wished his "Portuguese brothers all the success and luck in the world for the [UEFA] European Championship, which they truly deserve to win." He added: "I am also honoured to be in the presence of Eusébio - such an excellent player with a character to match."
Eusébio, one of the greatest Portuguese players ever, said: "Pelé and I never played together, but now with MasterCard we are on the same team. We met back in Paris when I was 19 and Pelé 20 - a long time ago - but I have always considered him not only a friend but a brother. I will give my full backing and support to make the UEFA EURO 2004™ a truly festive event for all the Portuguese people and fans around the world."
Philippe Margraff, representing UEFA as the Director of Marketing (MOC), said: "It is a pleasure to announce the continued support from MasterCard, in the presence of such prestigious members of the football family. This is the fourth time that UEFA is supported by MasterCard as the preferred method of payment. An official travel guide will be produced and given to every MasterCard holder and ticket holder."
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