Our Sales & Marketing Manager, Dan, attended the prestigious Europa Cup at Benfica’s home ground last weekend. A tournament run by Precision Pass, Dan gives his insight into his first trip abroad with us!
The Europa Cup was held last weekend (9th-10th June 2018) and what an experience it was! Precision Pass were our hosts; they had organised a youth tournament bringing teams from over 4 nations together to compete at the imperious Estádio Da Luz, Lisbon.
As a filming company our aim was simple, to capture the joy, passion and atmosphere of the whole weekend, plus a whole lot of football! It felt like a trial run to the World Cup starting this week; different nations represented in a tournament format that mirrored the world’s most prestigious sporting occasion. All of this played in and around Benfica’s stunning, internationally recognized arena.
Minesh (Operations Manager) and I set off from Manchester Airport on Friday in good company as the Costa Rican national side was travelling to Belgium after their loss at Elland Road (left).
On Saturday at 7:00am we got to work. Cameras were set up on each pitch (4 simultaneous games played at all times) on Benfica’s adjoining training surface, operatives were briefed on what we needed to capture and weather had to be contended with (It rained in Lisbon that morning, worse than Manchester all weekend!). By 8:15am we were ready to go with all our staff in place for a long but brilliant 2 days.
It turns out coordinating operatives on 4 pitches, filming of pitch-side footage and managing the sales of the video package we were there to offer wasn’t easy! My current phone counts my steps per day and I think there was a PB set over that weekend (the phone is only a few weeks old, I’m not that lazy, honest!).
The Saturday ran as smoothly as we could have hoped. There were a few camera tweaks and a bit of staff rotation but all-in-all the 14 hours flew by!
My favourite moment of Saturday has to be the Maltese contingent that had made the trip. They’d caused quite a stir with their renditions of “Yellow Submarine” and chants creating a fun, friendly atmosphere in the bleachers.
We experienced some fantastic football with the Portuguese teams showing their Latin flair coupled with some bite. The UK sides showcased the shift of mentality within British football with some lovely stuff played on the deck, mixed in with the odd robust challenge of course! Malta and India were also both ably represented with their teams showing passion and grit in abundance.
Day 1 drew to a close having seen three separate sessions of group games for U7’s through to U16’s. Goals, saves and “flossing” were in aplenty.
Sunday saw the main event approach with Benfica’s well-manicured playing surface lying in wait. The first thing that strikes you about the Estádio Da Luz is its grand nature. As you walk from the gangway the sea of red seats meets you with its steep, sweeping appearance. The similarities to The Emirates are undeniable but this is arguably better. The metalwork at the top of the ground is striking and adds to the grandeur of the place. Picturing a major European night here isn’t difficult.
Our operatives were in position in the stands recording all the match action. We were pitch-side getting all the close-ups, penalties and presentations to make sure it was a weekend that couldn’t be forgotten. Kids of all ages could be seen showcasing what they had to offer on one of the grandest stages of all.
The finals saw fantastic finishing, camera saves (great for us!) and drama in equal measure. It was enough to rival that other football competition that’s happening around now, in Russia maybe?
The best bit about this job is seeing how football can bring people together. Amongst the celebrations of the winners and the disappointment of the others there were moments of great sportsmanship, skills on show and banter from all those involved.
We had a hectic but brilliant 2 days and we can’t wait to bring you the culmination of our work!
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