After last year's successful staging at London's Hyde Park, the UEFA Champions Festival moves to Munich this year where the Olympiapark will provide a fitting platform for the seventh edition of this annual showcase from 16–19 May.
Since 2006, the free four-day event has been a growing feature of the fan entertainment programme in the build-up to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League finals and this year's festival will offer visitors the opportunity to meet past tournament winners, watch a legends match, and enjoy range of other football-themed activities.
The 2012 UEFA Champions Festival is open to everyone and UEFA invites fans, families, all Müncheners and guests in the city to 'Join the Game' by visiting the Olympiapark, where they can have their photo taken with the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League trophies.
The festival will commence at 12.00CET on Wednesday 16 May and stay open until 20.00CET on Saturday 19 May. Steffi Jones, the 2012 UEFA Women's Champions League final ambassador, and 2012 UEFA Champions League ambassador Paul Breitner will be present to meet and greet visitors, who will find an exciting schedule of entertainment laid on by the UEFA Champions League partners.
The highlight will no doubt be the Ultimate Champions match, as former European football greats such as Cafu, Davor Šuker, Michael Laudrup, Steve McManaman, Youri Djorkaeff and Stéphane Chapuisat take on a team of German legends, selected by Breitner. The game will take place at 12.00CET on Saturday 19 May in the historic Olympiastadion. Anyone in the dark about the achievements of those participating in the Ultimate Champions match can visit the on-site UEFA Museum of Champions to relive memorable moments from past tournaments.
In addition, children will be able to participate in a variety of skills clinics and coaching courses led by professional football coaches and former players such as UEFA Champions Festival ambassadors Patrick Andersson, Giovane Elber, Jay-Jay Okocha and Willy Sagnol.
Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA's director of competitions, said: "UEFA is proud to bring the annual UEFA Champions Festival to Munich and offer an event that gives fans and families the opportunity to celebrate football and to be in touch with the tremendous heritage of the European Cup in a fun environment with free admission for all. We hope that a record number of fans will visit the festival in the Olympiapark and participate in the exciting multi-event entertainment programme."
Each day of the festival will have a different theme. The proceedings will begin on Wednesday dedicated to grassroots football, marking 16 May as UEFA Grassroots Day, a Europe-wide celebration.
With the UEFA Women's Champions League final being played at 18.00CET on 17 May in the adjacent Olympiastadion, Thursday will promote women's football at the festival, with Friday being devoted to futsal. Saturday's programme will focus on the countdown to the UEFA Champions League final, which will kick off at 20.45CET at the Fußball Arena München.
The festival opening hours are:
• Wednesday 16 May 12.00–22.00
• Thursday 17 May 10.00–22.00
• Friday 18 May 10.00–22.00
• Saturday 19 May 09.00–20.00 (all times CET)
A brief summary of the highlights of the festival programme is as follows:
• UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League trophies – fans will be able to have their photo taken with the most coveted pieces of silverware in European club football.
• Ultimate Champions match – the game starts at 12.00CET on Saturday 19 May at the Olympiastadion.
• Museum of Champions – exhibits of exclusive club and player memorabilia from the great names and games of European club football bring to life the story of the European Cup.
• Skill clinics and coaching courses – football coaches and former players will host skills clinics every day.
• Partner activities – fans of all ages can get involved in numerous fun activities organised by the official UEFA Champions League partners.
Further details about the event schedule during the festival will be released in the coming weeks. For details, please go to UEFA.com.
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