Never before has a stadium been awarded Europe's premier club fixture twice in three years but hosting the 2013 UEFA Champions League final is Wembley's reward for the spectacular success of last month's event. It also marks the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Football Association (FA).
The decision was taken by the UEFA Executive Committee in Nyon and means the fixture returns to Wembley for a record seventh time, the second since the stadium was rebuilt. "Given the exceptional nature of this historic moment in our beautiful game, and the fact that we will also celebrate 150 years of the Laws of the Game, we felt it was our duty at UEFA to help the FA celebrate in some special way," UEFA President Michel Platini explained.
London will also stage the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League final and Champions Festival, which this year were at Fulham FC's Craven Cottage and Hyde Park. The XXXVII Ordinary UEFA Congress will also be held in London in the days leading up to the final.
FA chairman David Bernstein said: "UEFA viewed the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley as a major success and today they have paid us the ultimate compliment by announcing that they will return to our national stadium in 2013, the year of the FA's 150th anniversary.
"It will be a major celebration of football in this country during a landmark year for our organisation and is an acknowledgment of Wembley's status as one of the very best football stadiums in the world."
After the previous stadium was closed in 2001, the famous twin towers made way for an iconic arch over what is now one of the most breathtaking arenas in the world. Boasting a seated capacity of 90,000, the new Wembley opened 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.
Located in north London, Wembley not only staged a record six European Champion Clubs' Cup deciders but also two UEFA Cup Winners' Cup finals. Wembley was the venue for the 1966 FIFA World Cup and EURO '96 finals and having been the main stadium for the 1948 Olympic Games will welcome the football finals in 2012.
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 2012 UEFA Champions League final will be on 19 May at Fußball Arena München.
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