Created on 18-05-2012 at 00:00 AM
For Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm it represents a life goal, but for Horst Heeren it’s just one of many designs: we speak of the Champions League trophy. “You have to get these things done nice and quickly. Obviously, you put in the effort it deserves, but the next job’s already waiting,” said the man who created the most prestigious cup in global club football. Europe’s top pros have pursued this trophy in its current form since 1967, the glittering prize designed and created by Bremen silversmiths Koch and Bergfeld.
The tender documents from UEFA were sent to his employer by a Swiss agent, recalled Heeren, now retired. The 71-year-old has no clear idea why European football’s governing body chose his design ahead of the other contenders: “It's amenable in that you can easily grasp the two handles and hoist it into the sky, and that’s definitely a positive with a trophy of this size,” the former designer speculated.
FCB aiming for fifth triumph
If Bayern beat Chelsea on Saturday, captain Lahm will be the first member of the team to lay hands on the 925 sterling silver cup. As is customary, he would also be among the first to gulp champagne from the gold-plated bowl of the 8.5 kilogram, 73.5 centimetre trophy - although, as former Bayern hero and 2001 Champions League winner Hasan Salihamidzic recently noted, the shape does not lend itself easily to use as a beverage container.
Nowadays, the trophy is a crowd magnet at exhibitions and events, the ultimate dream for every club player, and a symbol of the multi-million dollar business presided over by UEFA. “It's enormously significant these days,” said Heeren, although thoughts like these were nowhere in his mind when he conceived the winning design back in the mid-60s. “It was just one story among many for us,” he admitted. Glasgow giants Celtic were the first club to receive the trophy, which has now passed its 45th birthday. For Bayern, Saturday’s final is the chance to claim the ultimate prize for the fifth time in their history.