Dublin date set to UEFA kick off finals season!

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and Football Association of Ireland (FAI) counterpart Paul Cooke look ahead to the UEFA Europa League final.

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president

This match marks the beginning of the season’s most thrilling phase, serving as the first of four eagerly anticipated finals that will conclude another unforgettable UEFA club competition season.

The Europa League final is set to return to the Irish capital, following the 2011 decider, when the competition was still in its early days. I want to take the opportunity to thank the Football Association of Ireland and its president, Paul Cooke, for their hospitality and help in organising this event.

It has been remarkable to see how this tournament has grown in quality and appeal, and tonight’s finalists are prime examples of its incredible strength and depth.

As of next season, we will launch a revolutionary new format for our men’s competitions, including the UEFA Europa League. The changes promise more excitement, inclusivity, intensity, emotion and uncertainty, with an open model that underlines the importance of sporting merit. Everyone can dream of European glory and has the right to earn it on the pitch.

But enough about the future — let’s focus on the present. A great match with two top teams is ahead of us. I wish you all a great time and may the best team win!

Paul Cooke, FAI president

Céad míle fáilte – a hundred thousand welcomes – to Ireland’s capital city and to the Dublin Arena. As president of the Football Association of Ireland, it gives me great pleasure to showcase our home venue and our wonderful country on this night of nights.

Ireland is a sporting hotbed and our desire to host major football events, including tonight’s UEFA Europa League final and UEFA EURO 2028 as co-hosts, is powered by the fantastic support of our partners in Government, at Dublin City Council and here at the stadium. We thank them all.

I also acknowledge President Aleksander Čeferin and his UEFA colleagues for their ongoing support of the FAI, particularly in recent years when they have stood by us with steadfast loyalty.

We are proud to be the guardians of football here in Ireland and, as the country’s biggest participation sport, prouder still of the unstinting commitment of the players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and officials who drive every level of our game forward to ensure that every boy or girl, man or woman, can play football to the best of their ability.

Tonight some of the very best players in the world will play in Dublin. I wish them and you well. Enjoy the game.

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