The third stop on the 2011 UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, presented by UniCredit, was Ukraine's capital city where more than 15,000 fans took part in the three-day event.
Article top media content
The cold weather failed to dampen the spirits of Ukrainian fans who came to see European club football's most prized silverware on the latest leg of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, presented by UniCredit, in Ukraine's capital Kyiv.
A beautiful location – the city's Sofievskaya Square – hosted the tour activities, including outdoor football matches and games for children. The trophy, of course, was the ultimate star, with some 15,400 people coming to see it between 30 September and 2 October.
On hand to meet the fans, have their photos taken, sign autographs and make sure the occasion ran smoothly were: UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Ambassador and former Croatia striker Davor Šuker; Official UniCredit Ambassador for the UEFA Champions League and ex-Portugal midfielder Luís Figo; and Unicredit Bank Ambassador for the Ukrainian tour Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko, a former national team coach and player.
These official representatives cut the ribbon to the tour village tent during an opening ceremony which provided a superb photo opportunity for the considerable media contingent.
The ambassadors also took time out to visit children at a local orphanage boarding school, where the youngsters performed a touching talent show for them. In the evening, a VIP event was held at the school featuring live music, an impressive pyrotechnic show and a charity auction.
"I don't think we need to advertise the tour because football is so popular, and the Champions League and the trophy are something I'm sure everyone in Ukraine, every kid who wants to be a footballer, dreams about," said Mykhaylychenko. "To present the Champions League trophy is a real honour. For club football, it is probably like the European Championship or the World Cup. So it is really good to be involved in this event, in order to promote it, and in order to bring the people of Kyiv and Ukrainians in general closer to the dream of winning this trophy."
If Ukraine's football supporters dream one day that one of their clubs will capture the trophy, the UEFA Champions League also has a truly global reach with millions following the action. To foster a closer relationship with these fans, the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour was launched to bring a once-in-a-lifetime football experience to their home towns. As a result, people who often have never had the chance to attend a UEFA Champions League game get the opportunity to learn about the competition's rich history, magic moments, legendary clubs and players – and to see and have their photo taken with one of sport's most coveted trophies.
UEFA's objectives for the tour also include encouraging people to play football and learn about key UEFA values such as Respect, the campaign against racism, and grassroots and educational activities. UEFA supplies the tour with a comprehensive collection of memorabilia from the European game's illustrious past, and a mini-pitch is set up at the venues to enable the organisation of grassroots events and mini-tournaments.
As acclaimed former players who have graced the UEFA Champions League and brandished the trophy aloft, the ambassadors are available to meet fans and the media throughout the tour and to discuss their memories of the competition.
Remaining dates and venues for 2011 tour:
• 7–9 October: Donetsk, Ukraine; media conference on 7 October
• 14–16 October: Belgrade, Serbia; media conference on 14 October