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2013 final: Wembley Stadium

Published: Thursday 31 May 2012, 1.30CET
The highlight of European football's club calendar returns to the London venue for a record seventh time, and a second in two years, on Saturday 25 May 2013.

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Published: Thursday 31 May 2012, 1.30CET

2013 final: Wembley Stadium

The highlight of European football's club calendar returns to the London venue for a record seventh time, and a second in two years, on Saturday 25 May 2013.

Wembley Stadium will host the 2013 UEFA Champions League final following a decision by the UEFA Executive Committee in June 2011. The highlight of European football's club calendar returns to the London venue for a record seventh time, and the second time in three years following the 2011 final, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association (FA).

Wembley has undergone a massive transformation since it hosted the last old-style European Champion Clubs' Cup final in 1992, but the new stadium has lost none of its prestige. The famous twin towers have made way for an iconic arch over the stadium, which has been totally rebuilt and is now one of the most modern and breathtaking arenas in the world. Boasting a seated capacity of 90,000, the new Wembley reopened its doors in 2007 and is once again home to the England national side, as well as host to the nation's premier domestic cup finals.

• Known as the 'Home of Football', Wembley has hosted six European Cup finals, more than any other stadium, as well as two UEFA Cup Winners' Cup finals. AC Milan defeated SL Benfica 2-1 in Wembley's first European final in 1963 before Manchester United FC became the competition's first English winners thanks to their 4-1 extra-time triumph against the same Portuguese side in 1968. In 1971, AFC Ajax beat Panathinaikos FC 2-0 to lift the trophy for the first time, and there was also a 1-0 win for Liverpool FC against Club Brugge KV in 1978. Wembley has been a particularly happy venue for FC Barcelona, who won their first European Cup there in 1992 with a 1-0 extra-time defeat of UC Sampdoria, and claimed the trophy for the fourth time in 2011 after overcoming Manchester United 3-1.

• The original Wembley Stadium was known as the Empire Stadium, and was built as the centrepiece of a British Empire Exhibition at the end of the First World War. Though not officially opened by King George V until 23 April 1924, the stadium hosted its first FA Cup final the previous year, when an estimated 200,000 people crammed in to watch Bolton Wanderers FC defeat West Ham United FC 2-0. That match famously became known as the 'White Horse final', as a mounted policeman took to the pitch to keep fans at bay.

• The old stadium, named after the north London suburb in which it is located, would serve as the focal point of English football from then until it was demolished in 2003 to make way for the current structure. Wembley hosted the 1948 Olympic Games and also the final of EURO '96 but, from an English perspective, unquestionably its finest hour came on 30 July 1966, when Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick to inspire England to a 4-2 extra-time win against West Germany in the final of the FIFA World Cup.

• In addition to major football events, the new venue has hosted significant sporting occasions in rugby union, rugby league, American football and even motor sports. It has likewise held a number of large concerts and charity events, with spectators able to take advantage of its 34 bars, eight restaurants and 688 food and drink service points.

Last updated: 06/03/13 19.16CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=919851.html#2013+final+wembley+stadium

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