The Champions League final at the Allianz Arena is not until 19 May, still just over four weeks away, but the showcase occasion became a tangible reality in Munich on Friday with a symbolic trophy handover ceremony. The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women’s Champions League trophies were placed in the city authorities’ care in the ceremony at the historic Old Town Hall on Marienplatz at 4 pm.
UEFA President Michel Platini handed the famous men’s cup to mayor of Munich Christian Ude, with the women’s cup presented to Christine Stroble, the mayor of Munich for sport. The event was attended by FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, deputy chairman Karl Hopfner and board director Andreas Jung. The 8.5 kg and 73 cm tall trophy was brought to Bavaria by Sandro Rosell, president of holders FC Barcelona.
Major youth tournament
Earlier in the day, 300 kids from nearby schools took part in a major sports and games festival. Rummenigge and Platini kicked off the youth tournament for fifth and sixth grade pupils before proceeding to the Town Hall.
“The annual trophy handover ceremony symbolises the beginning of the countdown to the club competition finals,“ commented UEFA President Platini. “Munich is a genuine footballing city. It's a pleasure to hand this important trophy over to the city of Munich and I’m certain it will be well looked after – as will everyone visiting for the final."
The Champions League trophy now goes on display to the general public at various landmark spots in Munich. The cup’s schedule includes a parade by bus on 14 May and the UEFA Champions Festival at the Olympic Park (16–19 May), before it arrives at the stadium on the day of the final. And perhaps it will be the home heroes who hoist the famous trophy into the Munich sky on 19 May, fulfilling what Rummenigge described as “our biggest dream.”