Another fantastic UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, presented by Heineken, is behind us, with a memorable final leg in Hong Kong bringing the curtain down in style on the silverware's journey around Asia – a football hotbed with a huge appetite for the competition.
The prize that the world's greatest players all want to win has travelled to Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea in recent weeks – and on its last leg in Hong Kong fans were treated to the sight of the iconic trophy being paraded through the streets of the bustling metropolis, on one of the island's restored historical trams, with Trophy Tour Ambassadors Gianfranco Zola and Jay-Jay Okocha.
A total of 12,100 visitors joined the queues to have their photograph taken with the trophy and to attend the autograph sessions at the apm shopping mall with ex-Italy forward Zola and Nigeria's Okocha, one of the greatest African players of all time. Both former players had enjoyed the rarified atmosphere of the UEFA Champions League – Zola with Chelsea FC and Okocha with Fenerbahçe SK.
"It's a privilege as a fan to come out and see this trophy, because it's difficult to have the opportunity to come close to this cup and to be able to touch it or see what it really looks like," said Okocha.
"Even as a player it's tough, because it's only when you reach the final that you're able to see it, so I think fans should feel privileged that UEFA has taken this initiative of associating with fans all over the world," he added.
The trophy is a global icon that reflects the quality of the UEFA Champions League. Accordingly the media presence in Hong Kong was highly impressive. For the major European clubs and their star players, the silverware also symbolises the ultimate achievement in this continent's club game.
Some fans also brought their own football memorabilia to be signed by the Trophy Tour Ambassadors, while Hong Kong celebrity, actress and television presenter Chrissie Chau was on hand to boost the festival atmosphere.
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