As another season draws to a close, European football's officiating bodies have been handing out the silver. While some trophies would make any glass cabinet proud, others are bizarre, even ugly. Take the disc-shaped objet raised by Lyon boss Jean-Michel Aulas. Was his team winner of France's Ligue 1 title? Or did he scoop regional bank manager of the year? On open-top buses right across Europe, the situation last weekend was almost as bad.
Spain's La Liga trophy appears to be crafted from silver-coloured plastic. The Uefa cup resembles a coal scuttle. And what to make of the anorexic "cup" that the Portuguese winners, Sporting Lisbon, may now call their own? By contrast, the FA Cup (held by Harry Redknapp) is of suitably stout design. But what it lacks in elegance, it more than makes up for in romance. Also traditional in style, Russia's top prize is an attractive cut-glass number, if funereal.
Whatever you think of the design of Italy's torch-like award, the players are likely to care infinitely more that next season they will get to wear "Scudetto" badges. That means they're the reigning champions.
There is one more cup – the biggest – yet to be awarded. All weekend, tourists in Red Square have been queuing up to snap the giant urn. At a British airport, meanwhile, Manchester United were loading a custom-made Champions League trophy flight case on to their plane, so confident are they of beating Chelsea to bring the cup home. For Sir Alex Ferguson, the mind games never end...Reuse content