The UEFA Champions League trophy has completed its first official week in Munich as the build-up continues to the Saturday 19 May final at the city's Fuβball Arena München.
The coveted silverware may have had to compete for attention with two epic midweek semi-finals – particularly that of local favourites FC Bayern München – but the UEFA Champions League trophy tour nonetheless caught the imagination alongside its UEFA Women's Champions League counterpart.
The two trophies' arrival in the Bavarian city hardly went unnoticed thanks to the cup handover ceremony at the historic Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) on Friday 20 April – a VIP event signalling the countdown to the men's final as well as the women's on Thursday 17 May.
With both prizes also making an appearance in the local Sky Sports News studio that Friday, joining presenters Julia Josten and Christopher Wehrmann, the stage had been set for the Munich public to embrace the trophy tour the next day, Saturday 20 April.
Their first opportunity came in the central Munich square of Karlsplatz. This area, also known as Stachus, was abuzz as fans – with cameras flashing – made the most of the occasion to catch a glimpse of the UEFA Champions League trophy and its sister silverware.
The rest of the week these symbols of conquering European club football's highest peaks were on display at the Olympiapark, where the UEFA Champions Festival will take place from 16–19 May in direct anticipation of the FC Bayern v Chelsea FC final.
Come wind, rain or shine, hundreds of people popped along to the Olympiapark on a daily basis to check out the trophies. As the week progressed, the steady stream of visitors also featured camera crews: one, from news channel n-tv, reported live from the venue – created for the 1972 Summer Olympics and now a popular setting for cultural events – on Wednesday in the lead-up to Bayern's semi-final away to Real Madrid CF.
Sport1 and Bayerischen TV followed suit in the wake of the German side's penalties triumph in the Spanish capital, taking the trophies into even more homes in a country which could yet be celebrating two European champions: 1. FFC Frankfurt are tasked with dethroning holders Olympique Lyonnais in the women's final at the Olympiastadion, centerpiece of the Olympiapark.
Ford, as official partner and official vehicle supplier for the UEFA Champions League, was another enthusiastic presence – using the trophy display as a platform to draw the winner of its UEFA Champions League competition giving new Ford customers in Munich the chance to win VIP tickets to the men's final.
As a prelude to the trophy tour's increasingly diverse schedule between today, 28 April, and 14 May, the Buntkicktgut multicultural street football project in Munich welcomed the trophies as the first week drew to a close, with many young footballers proudly posing for photos with the two prize baubles.
Trophy tour schedule
28 April–6 May – Munich Airport, between Terminals 1 & 2 (10.00–18.00 each day except 3 May, 10.00–15.00)
7 May – Fellererplatz tbc & Bavariaplatz (14.00–22.00)
8 May – Mangfallplatz (11.00–19.00)
9 May – Rotkreuzplatz (13.00–19.00)
10 May – Nordheideplatz, MIRA (11.00–19.00)
11 May – Hohenzollernplatz (11.00–19.00)
12 May – Willy-Brandt-Platz, Riem-Arkaden (11.00–19.00)
13 May – Weißenburger Platz (11.00–19.00)
14 May – Trophy Bus Parade: Odeonsplatz, Marienplatz, Sendlinger Tor, Stachus (11.00–17.00)
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