The famous trophy started its journey in Jamaica (Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay), before moving to Panama and Bogota, Colombia and now Cairo.
The UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, set up by Heineken, is a chance for football fans around the world to get closer to the iconic Champions League trophy, as well as football legends along the way. As well as Ryan Giggs, the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Carlos Puyol, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ronaldinho and the De Boer brothers.
The trophy tour’s aim is to extend the reach of the competition beyond the European locations that it’s played to a global fan base and to celebrate football fan culture around the world, with each local activation unique to the location’s football fan culture.
Giggs says, ‘It’s crazy how popular it is out here. Even with all the success I had at Manchester United, which is one of the biggest clubs in the world, you never really get used to crowds like this. Even though we’re in a different continent, there’s still so many people following the Champions League.’
Giggs, who presented the iconic trophy to the Egyptian fans, has been out here for the entire Cairo event, spending time in the Cairo Museum of Antiquities and travelling down the Nile with fans. This season has been the first time since he was 17 years old that he hasn’t been involved with Manchester United, whether as a player, coach or even caretaker manager, but the Welshman is enjoying his new sense of freedom.
‘I’m enjoying life at the moment. It’s the first time in my life where I’ve not put myself under pressure.’ He says, ‘I was ready to retire when I did. Retiring was a little bit of a relief actually. You put your body through that eating, sleeping, not drinking alcohol, preparing yourself mentally for games’.
As for the trophy itself, it continues its tour across the globe. In its ten year history the Trophy Tour has reached more than 26 countries across Africa, Asia, North and South America. The next stop in Mumbai, India, before heading to Vietnam where it will be presented in Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Bien Hoa, Da Nang, Hanoi and Haiphong, before finishing at the Champions League Final in Cardiff in June.