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3 Apr, 2008 19:37

Kaiser and co bring football to Red Square

The countdown to the Champions League final has officially begun in Moscow. Legendary footballers such as three-time European Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer, Leonardo, former player of current title-holders AC Milan, and UEFA President Michelle Platini were

With the Champions League final less than two months away, football fever has already hit Moscow.

Hundreds of people gathered near Red Square at the unveiling of the official match ball for the final. Three-time European Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer was joined by Russian and UEFA officials to show off a huge replica of the trophy. Boys from football academies across Moscow showed off their skills in front of the football greats.
The next stage was the official Champions League trophy handover ceremony.

Former player of current title holders AC Milan, the Brazilian Leonardo, along with the team's Operations Director returned the cup to UEFA. It was then passed to the Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, for safe-keeping before the final.

Russian supporters will now get a chance to catch a glimpse of the trophy as it makes a five-city tour around the country.

Moscow will be the first eastern European capital to host a Champions League final, and the UEFA President, Michelle Platini, is convinced that Russia is the right place for the most prestigious club competition in the world.

The final itself takes place on May 21 at the capital's Luzhniki Stadium.