Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the stars to have their iconic moments from previous European finals immortalised in FedEx’s Champions Unboxed campaign.
Made by world-renowned Canadian sculptor and artist, Laurence Valliéres, the impressive models have been created over several months using 130 recycled cardboard boxes.
Sculptures of Messi, Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard and Gareth Bale have gone on show outside the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul as City and Inter prepare to go head-to-head there in Saturday's final.
The giant figures celebrate incredible moments from Champions League finals gone by, with Messi’s celebration against Manchester United in 2009 and Ronaldo’s goal in the all-English showdown with Chelsea in 2008 both featuring.
Also captured is Gerrard helping to initiate Liverpool’s ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ against AC Milan in 2005 and Bale’s stunning overhead-kick in Real Madrid’s win over the Reds in 2018.
FedEx, an official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, gave fans the chance to have their say on what they considered to be the best final goals, with a vote hosted on social media allowing them to make their choice on the greatest moments.
Brought to life by Valliéres, the sculptures were then unveiled outside the Atatürk Olympic Stadium on the 18th anniversary of that clash between Liverpool and Milan at the same venue.
On the creation of the cardboard artworks, Valliéres said: “It was a really exhilarating project to work on; creating the sculptures with recycled FedEx cardboard was an exciting new challenge and it was truly enjoyable to mark the historic heroes of previous Champions League finals in such a unique way.”
Inter won the competition in 2010, courtesy of a man of the match performance from Wesley Sneijder, who attended the launch event. Sneijder said: “This is a highly anticipated and exciting final.
“For the UEFA Champions League to return to Istanbul is an incredible moment for the city and football fans everywhere. I have many memories playing in this competition with Inter Milan that I cherish, and a strong personal connection to Turkey from my time at Galatasaray - it is special to be back here and experience the electric atmosphere that a UEFA Champions League final brings to a host city.
“It has been excellent working with FedEx and I have enjoyed talking through my memories with and against some of the ultimate champions of the finals - predicting who could be next has been really exciting!”
Fans in Istanbul will get the chance to take a closer look at the sculptures at the UEFA Champions Festival being held across four days in the city this week.
Both local and travelling supporters can meet the artist and take part in a FedEx workshop where they will have the opportunity to create their own cardboard mementos of the final.
Click here for more information on FedEx’s UEFA Champions League sponsorship.