WARSAW/KYIV: The finals of Euro 2012 are split evenly between Poland and Ukraine. Each country has provided four stadia who share the four groups and the knockout ties between them.
** Lechia Gdansk are the home club in the venue known originally as the Baltic Arena and designed to reflect the image of amber, a historical product extracted on the northern Polish coast. Stadium construction began in 2008 and the venue features 48 hospitality suites. The opening match was a 1-1 draw between Lechia and Cracovia while the stadium’s first international was a 2-2 draw against Germany on September 6, 2011.
Built: 1980 (redeveloped 2003)
** Poznan has a proud history in all disciplines of sport including athletics, volleyball and basketball while KKS Lech are one of the country’s major football clubs. Lech, founded in 1922 and ‘owned’ for many years by the Polish railways, have won both the league title and cup on five occasions each. Neighbours Warta were champions in 1929 and 1947. The stadium was a host for the UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
** Warsaw’s new national stadium will not be a regular home to any of the city’s. Top club are Legia, the former army club who have won the league eight times and the cup 13 times. Old heroes included 1964 World Cup playmaker Kaziu Deyna. Local rivals are Polonia and Gwardia. The stadium replaces the old 10th Anniversary Stadium which once boasted a 100,000 capacity. Alongside the Vistula, its design echoes a waving Polish flag.
** Local club Slask, once quarter-finalists in the old Cup-winners Cup, have a long history in sport in general: Olympic champions include footballer Leslaw Cmikiweicz in 1972 and volleyball player Wlodek Stefanski in 1976. The old Olimpijski stadium, a training venue for Euro 2012, hosted matches in the 1936 Olympics as well as world speedway events. Its multi-purpose successor, recalling a Chinese lantern, is close to the Sleza.
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** Donetsk is not only the home world pole vault superstar Serhiy Bubka but of FC Shakhtar, winners of the UEFA Cup in 2009. They have also won the league title four times since independence. Neighbouring clubs include FC Metalurh and FC Olimpik. The Donbass Arena, funded by Shakhtar’s owner Rinat Akhmetov, is situated in the centre of the city. Features include an illuminated exterior and infrared heating system.
** Kharkiv was voted the country’s top sports city in 2009, having produced more than 40 Olympic medallists in all disciplines. FC Metalist are the leading local club, their history including an ‘old’ Soviet cup triumph. The stadium has undergone several make-overs since being built in 1926. The latest created the present multi-purpose Metalist City complex in time for the Euro 2012 finals.
** The new big-match home of FC Dynamo Kyiv, proudest sporting ambassadors of the capital, will host the final of Euro 2012. The new stadium features a transparent roof. Dynamo are one Europe’s greatest clubs. They were the first club from the old Soviet Union to win a European club prize, the Cup-winners Cup. They have also won a record 13 Ukraine leagues plus nine cups and produced a stream of the country’s greatest players and coaches.
New Lviv Stadium
** Lviv is the city whose history – and sporting history, too – spans both co-hosts. The Polish Football Federation was founded in Lviv in 1911 and it was the birthplace of Kazimierz Gorski who guided Poland to enormous success in the mid-1970s. Top local club FC Karpaty take their name from the Carpathian mountains. The all-new stadium is based on the design of the Euro 2008 arena at Klagenfurt, Austria.
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