The UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour of Italy – one of football's major hotbeds – has come to a triumphant conclusion in Rome.
The great Italian city's Piazza del Popolo welcomed 32,750 visitors over three days between 19 and 22 October, and brought a wonderful autumn journey, presented by UniCredit, to a memorable close. Ambassadors Cafu and Christian Vieri helped keep the atmosphere at a peak as no fewer than 7,931 photos were taken of the silverware that today's football greats yearn to win.
The UEFA Champions League trophy tour ambassador in Rome relished the occasion. "To be the ambassador is spectacular," said Brazilian ace Cafu, who won the UEFA Champions League with AC Milan in 2007. "It's an important role. It's a role that not everybody can do. You don't even have to encourage the fans to come here and see this fantastic trophy. They know about the importance of this trophy."
UniCredit ambassador Vieri, a runner-up with Juventus in 1997, echoed Cafu's comments. "I think the Champions League trophy is the most important trophy there is for a player and for a club," he said. "Everybody plays football to participate in the Champions League and to win it."
On Sunday, fans watched the climax of the UniCredit Cup, a 32-team youth tournament for children born in 2000/01 and playing for sides associated with the Centro Sportivo Italiano (which trains youngsters in different sports). The competition has been defined by positive values such as respect and fair play.
A free exhibition was open to visitors, who were able to take a photo with the trophy and receive autographs from the ambassadors. UEFA and UniCredit representatives joined football celebrities to discuss the UEFA Champions League and its enduring magic.
Fans in Rome checked out the huge UniCredit Arena, a large pop-up stadium complete with entrance tunnel. The arena offered supporters computer-simulated shots on goal – and the chance to experience the thrill of being in UEFA Champions League action.
A video cube comprising four giant television screens added to the atmosphere, while a memorabilia exhibition displayed players' boots and jerseys, as well as a changing room with kits from all 13 UEFA Champions League-winning clubs.
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