The UEFA Europa League Truck Tour's final stop of the season might well have proved the most popular, judging by the number of visitors it has attracted since arriving in Bucharest.
In the run-up to Wednesday night's UEFA Europa League final, there were fans queuing to get into the truck, to play the adidas Predator Pass Tool game and see the assorted UEFA memorabilia which included the shirts of last season's finalists FC Porto and SC Braga. Others were having their photos taken beside the giant adidas ball positioned next to it, in the shadows of the National Arena.
According to Goesta Hirche, the man in charge of the Bucharest leg, the stop in the Romanian capital had already attracted over 2,000 people during the preceding two days stationed on Strada Lipscani in the heart of the old town. A delighted Hirche said: "We've never had so many people. It's the best so far."
The UEFA Europa League Truck Tour, organised in conjunction with adidas, has visited a different city each week of UEFA Europa League action this season. On display on Wednesday were the shirts of some of the clubs which had hosted the truck in 2011/12 – such as Stoke City FC and FC Schalke 04, RSC Anderlecht and FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Frederik Simon, one of the truck staff, reflected on a season spent touring the continent when he said: "It was really interesting to visit cities all over Europe. London was great – Tottenham Hotspur were very friendly."
"It's the combination of a cute car and the toys inside – the fathers with the car, the kids with the games," added Hirche, and one father-and-son pairing certainly seemed happy with their visit – particularly young Vlad Mitrea who left the truck holding a new adidas T-shirt. He and his father Patrik were Bucharest locals hoping to see an Athletic Club victory but above all delighted to see their home city hosting such a major football event.
"It's very nice to have a game like this," said Patrick Mitrea. "I don't think this will happen again for another 20 years." Fortunately, though, the Truck Tour will be back on the road again next season.
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