UEFA Champions Festival Review
Another little slight side step from the main mission of the blog, but a nice little extra. This is my review of the UEFA Champions Festival.
Please if you have time look through the blog and read some of my letters sent and received to some of the big players in the beautiful game and give me some feedback/comments. In addition to this please follow me on twitter @teekoseyart where i will also be displaying my caricatures, graphics and artwork all of which are generally sports related.
So the festival was held in the lead up to the recent Champions League final over four days in the International Quarter ‘Stratford City’ in the backdrop of the Olympic Stadium. Great setting and easy as pie to get to. It was pretty much all open air so if it rained we would have been in trouble. Luckily we visited on the Saturday and actually got sun burnt, would you believe ! I did notice on twitter that it had rained the previous day.
First thing i will say is that it was free, yes FREE. In this day and age it’s almost a bizarre feeling to go to a free attraction, particularly something that your interested in and was actually quite good (more on that). I do not like wasting my cash or paying too much for anything to be frank, but in hindsight i would have been happy to pay ten -fifteen notes per person for this day out easily. But thanks to the sponsors, i believe, this day free admission.
What was there? quite a mixture but mainly little ‘games’ that you could queqe up for that had a loose connection to something in champions league history. Many of them were to kick a football at something or in a specific time. You get the idea. Fantastic for the kids, but lets be real half the people in the queues were adults !!! In addition there was the UEL trophy, which you could get a mandatory picture with. Had to be with your own camera, they were not providing photo services. The y had this interactive set up whereby you were give a card and registered. This enabled you to get ‘points’ by doing all the different games, interesting idea, not sure it it added anything really to my experience or the lads. Throughout the day there was a main stage which at one point had a strange rock band, but for the most part had freestyling lads showing off their incredible skills with the ‘soccerball’.
A superb part of the day was a huge marque that contained a museum on the tournament. This was great for fans. More for the adults than the kids i.e people that remember football didn’t begin with Messi and Ronaldo. The great players and the great finals were covered. There were the posters and programmes from every final. They also had a number of shirts worn by players in this years competition.
The highlight of the day was the all star match. This was a 5 a side game where the teams were made up of ex players. Some of the players on show were Van Der Sar, Cafu, Figo, Laudrup, Cannavaro, Pires, Carragher and Zola. WOW, some genuine talent. I believe it was 30 mins each half with rolling subs. There was about 30 goals in the game including a goal by Zola which was sublime. It really was something special to get to see these guys strut their stuff once more. At the end of the game the players handed out signed cards, which was a right Brucey bonus.
All in all this was a superb day out. We were there for about 7 hours so well worth the admission fee! If there is another one in London next year (unlikely i guess) i will be going for sure.