With the UEFA EURO 2012 final-round draw taking place in Kyiv this week, Alive – the championship's official newsletter – takes stock of the latest developments in preparations for the tournament as host nations Poland and Ukraine gear up for a thrilling summer of football.
In its fifth and penultimate edition, Alive casts an eye over an exciting end to the qualifying campaign, looks ahead to the finals draw and speaks exclusively with tournament ambassador Zbigniew Boniek about why fans can expect a memorable experience in June and July.
"It is one of the most important events in Polish history and I am not only talking about sports events because the EURO is more than that," Boniek says. "It is a huge opportunity which will contribute to developing the country and will show people abroad that Poland is very interesting, modern and worth visiting."
Warsaw and Lviv come under the spotlight as Alive travels across Poland and Ukraine to reflect on progress made in infrastructure projects ranging from airport improvements to major new road and rail links in the eight host cities. "While intensive preparations continue in terms of infrastructure and renovation work smartens up major monuments," Alive says, "the cities have begun to promote themselves across the world as they look forward to welcoming guests and fans to the biggest sporting event ever held in their countries."
Alive also drops in on the opening ceremonies at the Arena Gdansk, the Municipal Stadium Wroclaw, the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv and the Arena Lviv as all four venues open their doors for the first time to rave reviews.
Behind the scenes, Alive explains how the tournament's prize money will be distributed among the 16 finalists and highlights the social responsibility campaign UEFA will be running at UEFA EURO 2012 under the Respect banner.
Alive also joins in the chorus of congratulations for some of the co-hosts' greatest players who have received a new UEFA award honouring European footballers who have made 100 or more national-team appearances. Polish notables Michał Żewłakow and Grzegorz Lato and Ukrainian greats Oleh Blokhin, Andriy Shevchenko and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk all collected their commemorative cap and medal from UEFA for the mark they have made on the international stage.
All this and so much more in Alive #5.
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