Soccer

Footy legend Ronaldinho will take four fans on guided tour of Paris ahead of UCL final

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Ronaldinho, famous for scoring a lobbed goal against England in a World Cup Quarter Final in 2002, will host the Route 10 Freestyle Tour, an open top bus tour for fans to see the famous monuments along the Seine and the Champs Elysée.

The tour will stop at Ronaldinho’s favourite Parisian neighbourhood for a culinary treat and enjoy a hotel rooftop bar to take in the sights of the beautiful city – before enjoying the final itself.

It comes after research of 2,000 football fans, commissioned by Expedia to launch the competition, found 57 percent like to explore a new town or city when visiting for a football match.

Ronaldinho, 42, said: “During my career I have played in and visited many stunning cities, but Paris has a special place in my heart, it was my first European home.

“I am so excited to be partnering with Expedia for my Route 10 Freestyle Tour, so I can pass on my love and passion for the city and really make sure fans are making the most of their travels outside of the 90 minutes of football.”

Apart from watching football, hitting local bars and clubs is the top attraction of an away day, followed by seeing sights and sampling local cuisine.

One in four (26 percent) like visiting museums, and 19 per cent enjoy taking selfies with locals like bus drivers and bakers.

Those who have travelled abroad to watch football have been to an average of three different locations following the game.

Nearly one in 10 of these have even been away to as many as eight different foreign locations, for the love of the game.

And 57 percent said travelling for football makes them feel more “cultured” as they take in new sights and sounds from around the world.

Another quarter reckon they have travelled more in their lifetime so far in the name of football, than on “regular” holidays.

Barcelona was deemed the most ideal city to go watch a football game, picked by 29 percent – a long way ahead of rival Madrid, which was second with 19 percent.

Rome was third on the list (18 percent) followed by London (16 percent) and Rio De Janeiro (14 percent), according to the OnePoll figures.

Football fans are also desperate to attend a Champion’s League final, with a quarter willing to spend the last precious days of annual leave to attend one, and another 16 percent up for pulling a sickie.

Marwan Badran, Expedia’s spokesperson, said: “The pandemic left 44 percent of fans feeling deprived of football, as they’d missed so many live matches over the past couple of years.

“Therefore, we’re not surprised fans are now making up for lost time and embracing football travel opportunities, exploring more, spending more, as they head back to stadiums around the world in their droves.

“We wanted to offer fans this money-can’t-buy experience with one of the world’s greatest ever players, Ronaldinho, so they can really enjoy the city and all it has to offer with our unique Route 10 Freestyle Tour.”

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