UEFA President Michel Platini has presented the UEFA Europa League trophy to Turin ahead of the final in the northern Italian city on 14 May.
In a ceremony held at the famous Palazzo Madama, former Chelsea FC player Paulo Ferreira – part of the Blues' UEFA Europa League-winning squad last term – delivered the famous silverware to Mr Platini, who in turn handed it to Piero Fassino, mayor of Turin, for the city to display, and inspire the public, in the lead-up to the Juventus Stadium showpiece.
"The UEFA Europa League is the competition of all of Europe – it's a competition of the heart and is deeply appreciated all over the continent," Mr Platini said. "In the UEFA Europa League, all of the teams involved can go all the way. Furthermore, I can say that this trophy is the only one I never won in my playing days, as I never played a part in it."
"Turin is a true sporting city as it was here that the first Italian football league was born," Mr Fassino added. "And we have two clubs with a huge football history and, hopefully, this final can benefit the future of football, not only in the city and its clubs but throughout the whole region."
Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete also reiterated his wish for a sporting legacy to be left from the final, having spoken to UEFA.com about his hopes for the one-off game in the build-up to Wednesday's event.
During the ceremony, a video was played of the 2013 UEFA Europa League final in which Chelsea defeated SL Benfica 2-1 in Amsterdam thanks to a late Branislav Ivanović goal. Chelsea assistant first team coach Steve Holland told the audience: "It's the worst way to lose a game, but the best way to win one. We're very proud of what we were able to achieve in becoming part of a select group of clubs to have won all three major [UEFA] trophies."
UEFA Europa League final ambassador Ciro Ferrara summarised the positive mood in Turin. "Bringing this trophy back to Italy, with the possibility that an Italian team can finally win it again after so many years, can be an even greater stimulus for our football," said the ex-Juventus defender, whose former club play Benfica in the semi-finals.
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