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Warsaw receives UEFA Europa League trophy

"This cup is magic – it inspires people," said Polish Football Federation president Zbigniew Boniek as the UEFA Europa League trophy was handed over to the final host city Warsaw.

Warsaw receives trophy

The UEFA Europa League trophy has been handed to city of Warsaw ahead of this season's final, with Polish Football Federation (PZPN) president Zbigniew Boniek and the city's mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz taking the silverware from Sevilla FC president José Castro Carmona and sporting director Monchi at a ceremony in the Pałac Prymasowski.

"I brought the trophy to Warsaw, but I hope we can take it back to Seville on 27 May," said Carmona, whose side are eager to retain the title they won last season and earn a place in next season's UEFA Champions League in the process. "The UEFA Europa League is fantastic competition. The league in Spain is very competitive and it is very difficult to reach the UEFA Champions League through it, so the UEFA Europa League is a great opportunity for my club to shine in Europe."

Final ambassador Jerzy Dudek
Final ambassador Jerzy Dudek©Sportsfile

Poland and Juventus great Boniek was delighted to be staging another major event, with Warsaw benefiting from the experience and infrastructure put in place when Poland co-hosted UEFA EURO 2012. "Wherever I go, people tell me we have one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world," he added of the National Stadium Warsaw. "It is amazing during both day and night, when all the lights are on. Having the trophy here, we can make football even more popular in Poland."

"Our city is modern, friendly and ready to host big sporting events," noted Gronkiewicz-Waltz. "Our EURO 2012 experience helped us. UEFA did not forget the unique atmosphere during that tournament and wanted to bring this feeling back to Warsaw."

The trophy's arrival in the city can only serve to boost the excitement about the decider, with final ambassador Jerzy Dudek well aware of what it means to players to feature in major showpieces, having won the UEFA Champions League in 2005. "Everybody knows what means to play and win games like these," the former goalkeeper said. "It gives players a place in history, and everyone wants to be immortal."

Boniek, who lifted the European Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup as a player, knows how much symbolic power the UEFA Europa League trophy possesses. "This cup is magic," he said. "It inspires people. Everybody wants to be a winner and get some trophies during their career. Now we have it here and although it is quite heavy, everybody would love to have the chance to lift it."

José Castro Carmona and Monchi with the trophy
José Castro Carmona and Monchi with the trophy©Sportsfile

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