Created on 24-05-2013 at 00:00 AM
Little kids and grown men alike dream of winning this cup: the Champions League trophy, designed by Jürg Stadelmann in Switzerland, manufactured by Bremen silversmiths Koch und Bergfeld, and the crowning glory of a career for professional footballers.
If Bayern win Saturday’s final, captain Philipp Lahm will be the first member of the team to lay hands on the 925 sterling silver cup. As it happens, lifting the 73.5 centimetre trophy into the night sky is in one sense a relatively simple task: at 8.5 kilograms, it weighs a lot less than the 11 kg Bundesliga shield.
Original remains with UEFA
The current Champions League trophy design was conceived in 1967. Glasgow giants Celtic were the first club to receive the cup; Bayern are aiming to win it for the fifth time. The names of all past winners were engraved for the first time on the current sixth version of the trophy, which has been awarded since 2006.
Six versions indeed: up to 2008, the trophy was treated as a conventional challenge cup, awarded to the winners for a year. However, any club winning the trophy three times in a row (as Bayern did from 1974 to 1976) or a total of five times, kept the trophy in perpetuity. This means FCB, Real Madrid, Ajax Amsterdam, AC Milan and Liverpool all boast an original in their trophy cabinets. The regulations were overhauled in 2009, so that the original cup as presented to the winning team at the stadium after the final remains permanently in UEFA’s possession. The winners now take home a full-size exact replica.