The Football Association will be well represented when the UEFA Champions Festival takes place this week to coincide with the return of the UEFA Champions League Final.
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will be battling it out at Wembley Stadium to be crowned Europe’s finest from 7.45pm on Saturday 25 May, and UEFA will be staging a host of celebratory activities at the International Quarter close to the Olympic Park in east London.
From Thursday 23 May to Sunday 26 May, UEFA will be taking over the Stratford site with a host of free football-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy.
The FA has arranged a grassroots programme, coinciding with its 150th anniversary and to mark its role as host federation. The FA is also inviting a number of Ambassadors along. Team GB star Dave Clarke, the captain of the Blind Football team at the Paralympics, and gold-medal winning rower Mark Hunter will be among them.
Other great names in attendance include Final ambassadors Faye White and Steve McManaman, while the Ultimate Champions match on Saturday promises to be a thriller featuring some of the game’s all-time greats.
Visitors will also be able to have their photos taken with the UEFA Champions League trophies – the Women’s Final is on Thursday 23 May at Stamford Bridge – as well as visit the official UEFA Museum of Champions to experience all the memories of past tournaments. It promises to be the perfect family day out ahead of the late May Bank Holiday weekend.
If you cannot wait until next Thursday, already open at nearby Westfield Stratford City is the Kings of Europe exhibition - at the Getty Images Gallery - showcasing 160 photos that have defined Europe’s premier club football competition, featuring the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The gallery is free to enter and open from 10am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm on Saturday and 12pm to 6pm on Sunday.
Sir Trevor Brooking, The FA's Director of Football Development, said: “It is great that we at The FA are able to support the UEFA Champions Festival in a part of London that is very close to my heart.
"I am particularly proud that we will be putting on a showcase of our grassroots work as this has been a major focus of our 150th anniversary celebrations this year.
“We invest £100m back into the game each year and are using FA150 to shine a light on the seven million players, 400,000 volunteers, 300,000 coaches and 27,000 referees we have involved in football.
“The UEFA Champions Festival is another opportunity to talk about this and also to share UEFA’s own strong commitment to the grassroots. I am especially pleased that the women’s game, futsal and disability teams will all take centre stage over the four days.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "We are delighted that the UEFA Champions Festival is returning to London and especially that it will take place on the International Quarter close to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the scene of our biggest sporting moment.
"It will provide a fantastic week-long family event and will revive the spirit of community and celebration that made last year's Olympic Games so special.”
UEFA Champions Festival opening times:
Thursday 23 May – 12pm-9pm
Friday 24 May – 12pm-9pm
Saturday 25 May – 9am-6pm
Sunday 26 May – 12pm-6pm
Visit uefa.com/championsfestival for all the latest news
See a host of top players turn out early in the afternoon ahead of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final that evening at Stamford Bridge.
Javi Rodriguez and Ricardinho, superstars of the small-sided game, will be showing their skills while the England Futsal team will take on FC Barcelona U23s.
Some of the biggest names in world football including Gianfranco Zola and Luis Figo will line up in a Legends match – the ideal warm-up for the main event.
FA150 ambassadors Dave Clarke, the former Team GB and England Blind Football star, and gold medal rower Mark Hunter will support a packed programme of fan-friendly activities.