Tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower were given a surprise on Sunday as another eye-catching landmark vied for attention in the Parisian sunshine – a giant replica of the Henri Delaunay Cup.
Standing 12 metres tall, the inflatable trophy proved quite the attraction in the Champ de Mars public park as Paris gears up for Wednesday's UEFA EURO 2016 branding and logo launch. Representing the silverware that will be awarded to the winners of UEFA EURO 2016 in France, the replica acted like a magnet for fans of the game and passers-by, with people lining up to take photos of the cup against the stunning backdrop of the Eiffel Tower.
Only a short downpour briefly dampened the mood, and heads were also turned as former France international Willy Sagnol – who represented Les Bleus at UEFA EURO 2004 and UEFA EURO 2008 – stopped by to the lend the event added glamour along with French actor François Berléand. "We had the [FIFA] World Cup in 1998 and now we'll have EURO 2016, almost 20 years on," said Berléand. "France only seem able to win tournaments at home, so that's a good thing, but it's a fantastic event. I'll be there and I'll watch every match with interest."
Visitors anxious to get a look at the giant trophy will be able to stop by again from 10.00 to 18.00CET on Monday, before attention shifts to the UEFA EURO 2016 logo launch at Paris's Pavillon Cambon Capucines on Wednesday. Present at the ceremony will be UEFA President Michel Platini, French Football Federation (FFF) president Noël Le Graët and the chairman of EURO 2016 SAS, Jacques Lambert.
The Henri Delaunay Cup itself is named after UEFA's first general secretary following the organisation's founding in 1954. Delaunay, who was also a member of the FIFA board and general secretary of the FFF, passed away in 1955 and therefore never saw his plan for a national-team competition realised. It reached fruition in 1958 with the creation of the European Nations' Cup.
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