Slovenia FA head Aleksander Ceferin was elected UEFA president on Wednesday. The Soccer arena didn’t really have time to internalize this news, though, because talk of Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex began to arise, confusing betting odds surrounding the biggest game in European Club football.
2018 will be an intriguing year in football, primarily because of the event on May 26th. If you have never heard of it, Olimpiyskiy National Sports complex is a 68,000 capacity multi-sport stadium.
The stadium, which is situated in Kiev, will play host to the 2018 Champions league Showpiece Match. The decision was made by UEFA executives following a meeting on Thursday, this shortly after Ceferin’ s election to the UEFA presidency on Wednesday.
Kiev hasn’t hosted a European Final of note in a long time, at least not one this major at club level; though, the country isn’t exactly new to international football, Olimpiyskiy having hosted the 2012 EUFA European Championship final.
The stadium has seen numerous memorable sporting events play out under its roof. Some people might remember the second leg of the UEFA Super Cup in 1975 during which Dynamo Kyiv took on Bayern Munich.
The stadium also played host to the Olympic Games in 1980, this along with UEFA EURO 2012. Five UEFA EURO games were played in Olympiysky in 2012, this including the final.
Kiev’s reaction to the announcement was expectedly positive. The country has a healthy interest in football, and fans expressed glee at the idea of receiving European Football once more, even if they have to wait a while.
The official Ukraine Twitter account attempted to gauge interest by publishing a poll that asked people to share their expectations. The Stadium in question has been around for quite a while, generating a rich sporting history that should leave visiting sports fans enamored.
Olimpiyskiy, it is worth noting, is the second largest stadium in Eastern Europe, only losing out to Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, at least with regards to size. The stadium is, without a doubt, an imposing and noteworthy stage for the UEFA’s showpiece.
For those that have never laid eyes upon it, the stadium can be found on the slopes of Kiev’s Central Cherepanov Hill (Central Kiev).
It might surprise some people to learn that Olimpiyskiy has been around since 1923 when the ground was built. Historically, people called it the Republican Stadium. The change to Olimpiyskiy happened in 1996. The alteration, coming half a decade after the country declared its independence, was probably symbolic of Ukraine’s determination to throw off the shackles of its past.
The stadium has undergone renovations in the past to maintain its condition, the most extensive having happened in the 2000s primarily as a means of preparing for the 2012 European Championships.
Closed momentarily during these works, the stadium reopened in 2011, hosting a number of tournament matches, including the final that saw Spain beat Italy by four goals to zero.
The final match of this year’s Champions League will be held in Cardiff Wales. This particular tournament has been around since the 1950s, though its current format only came into play in 1992,the tournament having undergone numerous changes to accommodate transformations in the Union.