How to get to the Final… (I)

UEFA Champions League Final 2014

… or die trying. 5.30am, May 23rd, Friday, Madrid, still close night and the clock alarm starts beeping. M-40 ring road to Ivan Arlandis’ flat and… road to Lisbon!! Here we are, 628 kilometers away from Estadio da Luz and 36 hours from our first Champions League Final. We begin asking ourselves about UEFA organization, how to get to our apartments in Lisbon, distances and routes to the stadium, parking tickets and… meal vouchers!! yes, you heard right, UEFA gives each journalist meal vouchers to a perfect stay in da Luz. Luckily we had our GPS with us and arrived to Lisbon at 1pm (local time) with no incidents. We must say crossing the  ’25th april’ bridge give the epic entrance we needed to believe our eyes and the fact we were being part of this huge event. Not to say UEFA Champions League anthem started playing in the car radio… and not for the last time… ♪♪♪ Ce sont les meilleures équipes, Sie sind die allerbesten Mannschaften, The main event ♪♪♪. Flat keys are collected and baggages left. Time to see for the first time the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, better known as Estadio da Luz; and there it is, just in the middile of Benfica neighborhood and about twenty minutes from the city centre… guess the hit on the radio…yes… ♪♪♪These are the champions♪♪♪

UEFA Champions League Final 2014Next step, collect photo accreditations at the Accreditation Centre – you can see it above – and parking passes – yes my friends, an underground parking next to the stadium, that’s UEFA, come and enjoy working!! -. 3.45pm the day before. We have just 15 minutes if we want to use our firsts meal vouchers delivered by the UEFA, and we arrive just in time to taste a delightful menu like the one you can see in the next picture. 4.30pm and we headed straight to our own Santa Claus spot fully charged with a lot of presents with Canon lenses and cameras shaped. Canon Professional Services attends every main UEFA event to backup photographers with the last Canon gear and equipment. In that case, I borrowed one Canon 1dx and the amazing 8-15mm f4 candy. Check the results here.

2014-05-23 16.12.06After having checked our ‘new’ equipment, we enter the pitch waiting for the beginning  of Atletico de Madrid training session. UEFA let us to stay on the pitch or at the media tribune for the whole hour it took the training, so, we had enough time to shoot all kind of pictures: head shots, reactions, group pictures’… and even my colleague Ivan took those interesting pictures of me working at the stadium stands…

ISP Yo en DaluzTo be continued…