Why attend the 2018 Champions League and final in Kiev?
The Champions League is like no other sporting event in the world. It brings together teams from leagues all over Europe. Fans can see the top teams from one country compete against the top players from another. It is truly unique, and other regions of the world have attempted to replicate it.
The Champions League starts off in September with the group stage. Thirty-two teams are divided into groups of four. The teams play home and away matches against the other teams in their group. The conclusion of the group stage sees the top two clubs in each group progress to the round of 16, and this is where the real fun begins. The teams in the round of 16 play a two-legged series beginning in February, with the winner continuing on until they lose.
The stakes are high, and the passion supporters have during the tournament is incomparable to other sports. Only the best teams, players and managers prevail, and the intensity is unbelievable. For a football fan, there are very few sporting events that can compare to the Champions League Final. This year's event in Kiev will be the biggest ever. The match will be played in the 70,000-plus seat Olimpiyski National Stadium, and fans can expect the best of the best to be on the pitch.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HISTORY
The 2018 tournament is the 63rd Champions League competition. The annual continental competition began in 1955, and was the brainchild of Gabriel Hanot. The former football player and journalist wanted to see a competition developed that determined just which European team was the best. He was able to convince UEFA to institute such an event, and in 1956, the first final was held between Real Madrid and Reims. Real Madrid won the first and have since hoisted the famous European Cup 12 times. It wasn't until years later, however, that the tournament became even more prestigious. Only 16 clubs participated in the original.
In 1992, the Champions League was re-branded to suit its growing popularity. The redesign of the tournament helped usher in a new era and the tournament has gone from a midweek event into a worldwide phenomenon. The Champions League has an estimated 350 million television viewers around the globe. Only the World Cup can claim a larger viewing audience. However, watching it on television can't compare to being live in the stadium to see the final.
OLIMPIYSKI NATIONAL STADIUM
The Olimpiyski National Stadium in Kiev previously hosted the 2012 UEFA European Championship Final. It is a large, oval-shaped stadium that holds over 70,000 fans. The Olimpiyski was originally built in 1913. In its more than 100 years of existence, the stadium has been rebuilt and redesigned on several occasions. Not only will it host the Champions League Final, but the Olimpiyski is home of the Ukrainian national team, who play their biggest international home fixtures at the stadium.
The Champions League Final will crown the 63rd European Champion. It is a prize only topped by the World Cup. Unlike the World Cup, the Champions League co-exists with the domestic league season, and creates a marathon of games. Only the best players and teams can navigate the tricky waters of both competitions. This year's final will be bigger than any before it. From 32 teams to just two, the European Cup will go home with one lucky winner on May 26th.
If you’re interested in Champions League Football immersion this spring, reach out to us by filling out our interest form, or call (512) 900-4347 to plan the trip of a lifetime.