The UEFA hosted a VIP party to welcome the arrival of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) Trophy to New York City onÂ Wednesday, March 18. This was the first stop and kickoff destination for the 2015 U.S. Trophy Tour.
Guest appearances included former Champions League superstars such as David Villa and Jerzy Dudek.Â Heineken co-hosted the fabulous event at Skylight Modern.Â The venue was adorned with historical moments of UEFA, and soccer legends like Messi and Zidane.Â Guests lined up to take photographs with the real trophy. They were given carefully instructions to not touch it.Â In one section of the room, attendees had the chance to hit a soccer ball hanging from the ceiling with their heads. It was very entertaining to see grown men jump countless times while they tried to imitate the soccer move.
Nevertheless, the most popular side of the room was the one where guests could participate in a virtual reality experience. The device transported guests to the Paris Saint-Germain vs. Chelsea game and delivered far more than a virtual experience. People could move around, twirl in a 360 degrees and see the faces of players and everyone inside the stadium. Guests moved their hands trying to touch the things that they were seeing and every single one of them had an astounded face when they took the glasses off.
The entire crowd gathered in front of the trophy, when David Villa, Rivaldo, and Dudek, graced the stage with their presence. Fans were seen gathering around to take pictures with their favorite players while the rest continued to enjoy the evening. Read our exclusive interviews below:
Â Jerzy Dudek
How does it feel to be at this event, and touring with the trophy?
Jerzy Dudek: It is very good … Second time in New York. This is a different time, a different type of journey. I was here with Liverpool on the training camp before, something like ten years ago. This is a different one, I am really excited and very happy to be here.
What are your upcoming projects?
JD: We came with the trophy and we have a tour around the U.S. we start here in New York and then personally I will not go to Dallas and L.A. there will be different football players. This is nice to be part of this event and we can be close to the supporters and present this fantastic trophy and promote European football which is good.
How did it feel to save that penalty during the finals in the Liverpool vs. Milan game?
JD: That was a special night for us. The special way that we did it. We were losing and we bounced back very well and after extra time we won in penalties and a goalkeeper can help the team and I was in the right spot, the right direction. I did it a bit different, I spot the penalty in a different way, I hope that people liked it, it was the best moment in my football career!
How does it feel to be the leader of a new team here in New York City?
David Villa: Very happy, I donâ€™t think that I am the leader, I am just another player in the team and I am very happy with how everything is going and how well we have started.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
DV: No, right now my future is to play football in New York and do it very well and when the time comes to think of something else then I will but at this moment I am only thinking about playing football.
How do you feel about the Atletico Madrid win yesterday?
DV: I feel very content that they won, they had a lot of fun during game even though they suffered at penalties and they will be in the next round.
What has been a highlight in your career?
DV: I think that the most beautiful moment in my career was in South Africa when we achieved to win the world cup. It is the maximum that a player aspires to reach and I had the luck and fortune to be able to live it.