The Henri Delaunay Cup – the EURO’s cherished prize | UEFA EURO 2020

Italy or England will earn themselves footballing immortality when one of many finalists wins the UEFA EURO 2020 title at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday – and the gamers and their celebrating followers will totally grasp the extent of this achievement in the meanwhile that their proud skipper triumphantly raises the Henri Delaunay Cup.

The coveted trophy that symbolises European nationwide staff soccer’s premier competitors bears the identify of the French soccer administrator who performed an important function in UEFA’s start in June 1954, and who served as UEFA’s first common secretary till his premature demise in November 1955.

Henri Delaunay’s dream

It does so particularly as a result of Henri Delaunay was the prime catalyst within the course of that led to the launch within the Nineteen Fifties of the European Nations’ Cup – the competitors that might finally develop into the UEFA European Soccer Championship and blossom into one of many world’s main sporting spectacles.

Henri Delaunay – the EURO pioneer

Henri Delaunay – the EURO pioneer UEFA

Delaunay had nurtured the dream of establishing a European competitors for nationwide groups for the reason that Twenties, and tenaciously pursued his dream as UEFA took its first faltering steps. Sadly, he wouldn’t reside to see that dream fulfilled – however his pioneering groundwork would by no means be forgotten. When the new competition was finally launched at the UEFA Congress in Stockholm in June 1958, Ebbe Schwartz – UEFA’s first president – proposed that in recognition of the inventive affect of Henri Delaunay, the trophy awarded to the winners ought to carry his identify.

The French Soccer Federation (FFF) president Pierre Pochonet introduced on the similar time that his affiliation was going to supply the trophy. The next job of getting the brand new silverware manufactured fell upon Henri Delaunay’s son Pierre, who had succeeded his late father as UEFA common secretary in 1956 and maintained the impetus that led to the momentous choice in Stockholm.

Trophy concept

“Europe is a phrase of Greek origin,” Pierre Delaunay informed UEFA Direct journal in September 2005. “Europe definitely originated within the Mediterranean Basin, and Greece invented the Olympic Video games, so I assumed it will be a good suggestion to seek out an historical Greek artefact, depicting a ball if attainable – one thing which was not significantly frequent – and reproduce this within the type of a trophy.

“A Greek journalist who was a pal of Constantin Constantaras, a member of the [UEFA] Government Committee, discovered a sculpture of an athlete controlling a ball on the Nationwide Archaeological Museum in Athens. The Parisian silversmith Chobillon, who was commissioned to make the trophy, reproduced it on the cup, on the other facet to the title.”

UEFA president Gustav Wiederkehr hands the original Henri Delaunay Cup to West Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer in 1972

UEFA president Gustav Wiederkehr fingers the unique Henri Delaunay Cup to West Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer in 1972Popperfoto through Getty Photographs

The unique trophy was purchased later by the Arthus-Bertrand firm in Paris. It was on present for the primary time on the inaugural four-team Nations’ Cup last match in France in 1960, and could be hoisted by profitable captains 12 occasions in complete.

A brand new model

The sculpture in query didn’t survive the recasting of the trophy by the famend London-based goldsmith, silversmith and jewellers Asprey within the run-up to UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. Within the intervening years, the Nations’ Cup had been renamed the UEFA European Soccer Championship for the 1966–68 version, and the variety of individuals rose in relation to the competitors’s development in stature and attraction – firstly from 4 to eight in 1980, after which to 16 for the 1996 match in England.

The new trophy was first contested at UEFA EURO 2008

The brand new trophy was first contested at UEFA EURO 2008Getty Photographs

Because the championship took its exalted place alongside the FIFA World Cup and Summer season Olympic Video games on the rostrum of world sporting sights, UEFA determined that an up to date model of the trophy was required to mirror the status and attraction of what was now extensively referred to as the ‘EURO’.

UEFA wished to enhance on the standard and scale of the trophy, with a view to have a focus for the EURO – the sensation was that the unique trophy was too small and overshadowed by different UEFA competitors trophies. Asprey was excellent for the job of reincarnating the trophy. However there was by no means any debate concerning the new silverware’s identify – Henri Delaunay’s everlasting legacy would stay intact.

The second model of the trophy remains to be based mostly on the unique model. It’s made from sterling silver and is 60cm tall, 18cm greater than the unique, and weighs 8kg, which is 2kg heavier than the primary trophy.

There are different minor variations between the unique and up to date variations – the silver base was enlarged to make it steady. As well as, the names of the profitable nations that had appeared on the plinth have been engraved on the again of the trophy.

Coveted by the celebrities

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas celebrates as he holds the new EURO trophy aloft in 2008

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas celebrates as he holds the brand new EURO trophy aloft in 2008AFP/Getty Photographs

The brand new trophy was unveiled on the EURO 2008 qualifying competitors attract Montreux, Switzerland, on 26 January 2006. When the ultimate match happened two years later, Spain’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas loved the privilege of turning into the primary skipper to elevate the up to date model after his staff’s victory over Germany in Vienna.

Europe’s best gamers really feel intense satisfaction in representing their nation – and brandishing the Henri Delaunay Cup stays a goal that they yearn to succeed in once they don their nationwide shirt.

The soccer world just isn’t solely wanting ahead with keen pleasure to watching Sunday’s last unfold. Specifically, followers of Italy and England are additionally making an attempt to envisage of their minds how they may really feel and react when their victorious captain receives the Henri Delaunay Cup from UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin, raises this iconic prize to the skies and completes one other vital chapter in soccer’s wealthy and enduring historical past.–the-henri-delaunay-cup/?rss=026b-12b68866d10c-3752fb3a31e1-1000the+henri+delaunay+cup

Huynh Nguyen

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