The UEFA Europa League trophy has visited some of Amsterdam's best-known landmarks over the last 25 days, touring the Dutch capital ahead of the UEFA Europa League final between SL Benfica and Chelsea FC.
Since the trophy handover ceremony at the iconic Beurs van Berlage building on 18 April, the trophy has travelled north, east, south and west, by tram, barge, truck and even bicycle – this is Amsterdam, after all. The stops have been no less redolent of the Dutch capital, the famous Rijksmuseum chief among them, in a journey that ends on Wednesday at the Amsterdam ArenA.
The trip began as soon as Amsterdam received the trophy from holders Club Atlético de Madrid, as final ambassador Patrick Kluivert took the silverware on a tour of the city's canal system accompanied by schoolchildren. Since then the trophy has called in at Amsterdam Centraal station, Michiel de Ruijter primary school, amateur football club sv Geinburgia, City Hall and the main police station.
The celebrated Rijksmuseum was the next destination with the coveted cup posing for photos alongside Rembrandt and Vermeer before making an appearance at the Royal Netherlands Football Association's (KNVB) head office in Zeist. A week ago, the trophy had a trip on a UEFA Europa League-branded tram, giving commuters the opportunity to have their picture taken with both the prize and former AFC Ajax and Netherlands defender Michel Kreek.
Then it was off to Sporthallen Zuid for the national futsal day before taking to the airwaves for a special UEFA Europa League-themed radio show. Schiphol airport and many of the 150,000 passengers that pass through daily was next on the agenda and after a stop at the Olympisch Stadion, venue for Benfica's 1962 European Champion Clubs' Cup final triumph, the tour ended on Tuesday at Olympiaplein and a grassroots tournament.
It has been some journey and, of course, it is not over yet: on Thursday the trophy will be bound for either London or Lisbon.
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