LFC fans heading to Athens: Essential viewing guide

UEFA have today launched their full plans for the ‘Champions League Festival’ – a series of events in the days preceding and after the Champions League final. With many Liverpool fans opting to take 7 day holidays or shorter breaks then some of the exhibitions will be well attended.

The events kick off on Saturday and entry is free – the areas in which the events will be located are the Ancient Olympic Stadium, Syntagma Square and Zappeion Square (three of the most popular tourist areas).

(Information from UEFA.com)

Main hub
The Ancient Olympic Stadium will be the main hub of activity with numerous events including a world-premiere public showing of the UEFA Champions Gallery – a unique five-screen stereo 20-minute history of the best of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup and UEFA Champions League; the Trophy Gallery, where people will have the chance to be photographed with the famous trophy; a display of football memorabilia; booths for Milan and Liverpool; and the UEFA corporate booth, featuring information on all of UEFA’s activities, and a quiz with chances to win prizes.

Designed for all
“The UEFA Champions Festival is designed to allow fans to experience the feeling of the UEFA Champions League final atmosphere and the celebration that is UEFA Champions League football, irrespective of whether they are attending the final itself,” said UEFA. The festival will also include a skills clinic; the Young Champions grassroots tournament involving girls and boys from the ages of nine to 14; a Senior Champions football match featuring former European stars and a Greek celebrity side; a video-gaming contest; and the chance for the fans to play football spontaneously.

Giant screen
There is also a giant screen with activities, although the final itself will not be shown for security reasons. In addition, UEFA said, no public screening will be organised in the city. Fans will also have the opportunity to see French legend Zinédine Zidane teach some of his tricks and to meet with former UEFA Champions League winners Daniele Massaro (Milan) and Phil Neal (Liverpool).

Sponsor partners
In Syntagma Square, the UEFA Champions League sponsor partners will be presenting a wealth of activities based around each their unique footballing activities. These include Vodafone’s ‘Football Freestylers’, Ford’s ‘feelfootball.com’, MasterCard’s ‘Priceless Moment’, Sony Bravia HD, Sony Playstation PS3, a Heineken bar to add to the festive atmosphere, adidas’s ‘Impossible is Nothing’, and a 24-hour non-stop match called the Starball Match, which kicks off on Monday at 12.00.

Merchandising booth
Finally, Zappeion Champions Square will stage five-a-side activities on an inflatable pitch. There will also be a merchandising booth selling official final souvenirs and the chance to discover more about the host venue for next year’s final at the House of Moscow.

Champions Express
The Champions Express, a free mini-train running every 30 minutes from Syntagma Square to the Ancient Olympic Stadium via the Zappeion Champions Square, will connect all of the sites. There will be a media centre, including a panoramic studio that can be booked upon request, at the Ancient Olympic Stadium for media to work from.

Schedule of activities:

Ancient Olympic Stadium (Kallimarmaro Stadium)
Saturday 19 May
11.00 Official opening of the UEFA Champion Festival in presence of Theodoros Zagorakis and representatives of the Greek Government and Football Association
12.30 – 20.30 Young Champions tournament preliminary round

Sunday 20 May
12.30 – 20.30 Young Champions tournament preliminary round

Monday 21 May
11.00 – 22.30 Spontaneous football
12.00 Start of the 24-hour non-stop Starball Match (Syntagma Square)

Tuesday 22 May
11.00 – 14.00 Spontaneous football
12.00 End of the 24 hours non-stop Starball Match (Syntagma Square)
13.00 – 15.00 Vodafone knock-out media and celebrity tournament (Zappeion Champions Square)
14.00 – 15.00 Daniele Massaro and Phil Neal sign autographs at the Milan and Liverpool booths
15.00 – 21.30 Young Champions tournament semi-finals

Wednesday 23 May
11.30 – 12.30 Young Champions tournament finals
13.00 – 13.50 Senior Champions’ Match
14.00 – 14.30 Young Champions prize ceremony with Zinédine Zidane and Theodoros Zagorakis
14.30 – 15.30 Skill clinics with Zinédine Zidane, followed by a five-a-side match where Zidane will play in both teams
16.00 – 18.30 Spontaneous football
19.00 Festival closes

If you’re off to Athens, and visit any of these events then we want pictures and stories. And lots of them. Especially the ‘Spontanous Football’…!

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