20 Mayıs 2009 Çarşamba

The UEFA Cup trophy

When the winning captain steps up to lift the trophy at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Istanbul on 20 May, they will have to find a few last scraps of energy as the UEFA Cup is the heaviest of all the UEFA trophies. Tipping the scales at 15kg, it is 65cm high, 33cm wide and 23cm deep.

Crafted in Milan
The trophy, a silver cup on a yellow marble plinth, was designed and crafted by the Bertoni workshop in Milan. Unlike the other cups handed out at European club competitions, the UEFA Cup has no handles. Just above the plinth, a group of players seem to be jostling for the ball, when, in fact, they are supporting the octagonal 'cup' which is emblazoned with the UEFA emblem.

Replica trophy
Tournament regulations state that the UEFA Cup is handed to the winners to keep for one year and that each champion is entitled to retain a four-fifths replica trophy which, at the moment, costs over €2,000 to make. The regulations also say that the original trophy will be given over to any club that wins it three times on the trot or five times overall. This has never happened.

Up for grabs
It means that the UEFA Cup is the oldest silverware still up for grabs in club competition. In fact, sustained success has been so elusive that only four captains have managed to lift the prize more than once – most recently, Sevilla FC captain Javi Navarro as the Andalusians triumphed for a second successive season in Glasgow two years ago.

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