The quiet city of Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State, erupted with ecstasy moments the long awaited UEFA Champions League Tour got underway yesterday morning when former Barcelona defender Carles Puyol brought the famous Big Ears, the UEFA Champions League Trophy sponsored by Heineken to the public glare.
The symbolic entry first at the Emerald Event center where the World Press conference took place was backed by an ensemble of former Nigeria internationals; Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Mutiu Adepoju Austine Eguavoen and ‘Gentle Giant’ Uche Okechukwu, Puyol held aloft the UCL Trophy on stage for the first public view of the iconic UEFA Champions League trophy.
The three-time winner of the Champions League with FC Barcelona,Puyol addressed the gathering that also had in attendance, indigenes of the State explained that his excitement at coming to Uyo and being able to see the Super Eagles legends who he played against as the Star Shine Shine Bobo Team during the Unmissable game at the Uyo International Stadium yesterday.
“I am very happy to be here in Nigeria for the UEFA Champions League Tour and I am very excited for the match tonight,” Puyol remarked.
He also stated that the Champions League always holds great memories for him and he is happy to continuously be associated with the competition.
“The title in 2006 was significant for me because Barcelona had not won the Champions League for a long time. It also has extra significance because my father actually came to the stadium to see me play before he died,” he explained as the audience all applauded the emotional family moment shared.
Nigeria Breweries MD, Jordi Borrut-Bel expressed the delight of the company at bringing the Unmissable match to Uyo in partnership with the state government that had assured of a wonderful atmosphere for the encounter.