UEFA Champions League Trophy
The European Cup is the trophy awarded to the club that wins the UEFA Champions League. The first UEFA Cup was donated to the competition by L’Équipe, the French sports newspaper that originally proposed the pan-European competition. The original trophy was awarded to Real Madrid in 1967, when they claimed their 6th Champions League winners’ title.
The design of the European Cup was modified when the original trophy was replaced. The new European Cup was cast in silver in a workshop in Switzerland at a cost of 10,000 francs. The trophy sports an urn-like shape with two large handles that have earned it the title ‘La Orejona’ in Spain due to the handles’ similarity to a pair of oversized ears. The trophy is also unusually large, standing 74cm in height.
Since the first European Cup was replaced in 1967, the trophy has been recast several times as top European clubs have claimed it permanently as they won the tournament either three times in a row or have notched up their fifth title in the history of the competition.
Besides Real Madrid, Ajax Amsterdam, Liverpool and AC Milan, Bayern Munich has also been awarded permanent ownership of original Champions League trophies. Liverpool was the last club to achieve this feat after claiming their fifth title in 2005. Each new trophy is engraved with the names of the previous winners.
Besides being allowed to retain an original trophy these five clubs have the right to wear ‘badges of honour’ on their football jerseys which indicate the years in which the relevant club won the title on a patch bearing an outline of the Champions League trophy.
Other teams winning the UEFA Champions League trophy are allowed to retain the trophy for 10 months, and are then awarded a scale replica to hold permanently. Clubs are also permitted to cast their own replicas provided these replicas are scaled down versions of the original trophy.
Over recent years the UEFA Champions League trophy has become something of a celebrity attraction in its own right and has toured the world extensively, appearing at exhibits throughout Asia and Europe. When the UEFA Champions League trophy arrives in the host city of the UEFA Champions League final it tends to draw enormous crowds as it is paraded through the city.