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The UEFA Europa League trophy is now residing in the city where it will be lifted on 9 May following its handover to Bucharest by UEFA President Michel Platini.
The presentation ceremony last week – attended by dignitaries and players, past and present – heralded the biggest event yet to take place at the new National Arena. Miodrag Belodedici, the final ambassador and former Romanian international, expects the silverware to be quite an attraction as it goes on display during the build-up to the final on 9 May.
"This has got to be done because it needs to be showcased to the people of Bucharest, to the public," he said of the scheduled trophy tour. "I believe there will be big interest in coming to see the trophy."
While Belodedici had the honour of twice lifting the European Champion Clubs' Cup – with FC Steaua Bucureşti and FK Crvena zvezda – FC Porto's Cristian Săpunaru got his hands on the UEFA Europa League trophy last season after the Dragons defeated SC Braga in Dublin.
The Romania defender is impressed by the 55,200-capacity final venue, the National Arena, which staged its first match last September. "I'm happy we have a stadium that can host such an event," said Săpunaru. "Now that the stadium has been built, we can be proud of this jewel."
To hear more from Belodedici and Săpunaru, and to watch the trophy handover, click on the video above.
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