THE Champions League trophies will touchdown in Wales this afternoon as the build-up to June’s finals begin, kicking off the tour around the nation.
Following the draw for the semi-finals in Nyon, Switzerland, involving Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid – the only Welsh player left in either competition - the men’s and women’s silverware will head for Cardiff.
The trophies will come to Newport and Cwmbran on Monday, May 8, visiting the Llanwern High School in a closed event from 10am to 1pm as part of the UCL Wales Trophy Experience.
After that, the prizes will make their way to two public showings at Friars Walk from 2pm to 4pm and Cwmbran Stadium from 6pm to 8pm respectively.
The Welsh delegation, involving first minister Carwyn Jones, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) president David Griffiths and chief executive Jonathan Ford as well as the men’s final ambassador Ian Rush, will arrive back in Wales at 3pm.
Jayne Ludlow, the ambassador for the women’s final, will join the procession of the trophies in the capital at 4.45pm before the official handover at the National Stadium of Wales – the Principality Stadium – at 5.10pm.
Bale's Real Madrid will take on cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid, leaving Monaco and Juventus to face off in the men’s semi-finals, while Manchester City will take on Lyon and Barcelona will play Paris Saint-Germain in the women’s event.
Although taking place in Cardiff, hotels across the region are expected to be fully booked long before the finalists are even confirmed, and a luxury cruise ship will be docking in Newport to provide extra accommodation for fans.
There are 41 days until the women’s final at the Cardiff City Stadium on June 1, and 43 days until the men’s showpiece at the National Stadium of Wales on June 3.