Just over two weeks before the ultimate duel in European club football takes place between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium, the trophy tour reached Trafalgar Square, a London landmark named after another famous battle.
After paying a visit to Fulham FC's Craven Cottage on Monday night, Europe's most prestigious club silverware attracted huge crowds in front of Nelson's Column at the heart of one of the English capital's busiest tourist attractions.
Football fans from all over the world posed for photographs with both the UEFA Champions League Trophy and its women's competition counterpart, including Juan Gomares, a Manchester United FC supporter from Ecuador who told UEFA.com: "It's fantastic to see the trophy in England, I've only ever seen it on television but in reality it looks really heavy – I'm sure Rio Ferdinand won't have any trouble lifting it though!"
The column, guarded by four monumental bronze lions and topped by a statue of Horatio Nelson, the vice-admiral who commanded the British fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, provided a fitting setting in the build-up to the 28 May final. Ariya Phiangta from Thailand told UEFA.com: "I live in Bangkok where everyone loves their football so to actually see the trophy in person in London is amazing."
Prior to its arrival in Trafalgar Square, the illustrious prize had been joined by the UEFA Women's Champions League Trophy at Charters School in Sunningdale, Berkshire, where pupils took the opportunity to catch a glimpse of 'Ol' Big Ears' before being dazzled by freestyle footballers.
The buzz created by the calibre of silverware on display left a lasting impression at the school, with community deputy head teacher and director of sport Steve Harvey saying: "It was a real delight – the pupils got loads and loads out of it. Seeing the names of all the club winners on the back was special and let's hope Manchester United are on it next."
The trophy tour jets into Heathrow Terminal 5 next before reaching City Hall on 17 May and residing in Hyde Park for the UEFA Champions Festival from 21 to 28 May.
Supporters wishing to attend the 2010/11 UEFA Women's Champions League final in London can purchase tickets now priced at £3 for under-16s and £5 (€5.90) for adults. They can be bought via a portal on Fulham FC's official website or by calling +44 (0)843 208 1234 (option 1) 24 hours a day, seven days a week (no booking fees apply online).
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