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City gets ready to welcome Atlético Madrid

Published on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

AS LEICESTER fans look forward to tonight’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg, the city is already getting ready for next week’s return match.

Bunting bearing the Atlético Madrid badge has gone up at the train station, Leicester City bunting is flying in Town Hall Square, staff in shops and bars are practising a friendly ‘hola!’, and a fanzone in Jubilee Square will once again welcome fans from 12 noon on match day (Tuesday 18 April).

A short welcome video – in Spanish – will be shared on social media on Friday (14 April), while local businesses will be welcoming fans with some eye-catching match-themed foods.

Oscar & Rosie's Canteen – which opened on Market Place last week – will be making a special pizza to mark Leicester City’s appearance in the Champions League quarter-finals.  Their 14” ‘Los Amigos’ pizza will feature the best of Leicester – some Sparkenhoe Red Leicester cheese – and the finest Spanish Ibérico chorizo to appeal to both sets of fans.

And Delilah Fine Foods – a traditional delicatessen on St Martins – will welcome Atlético and Leicester fans with a special match-day cheese display in the two clubs’ colours. Their cheese ‘tier cake’ features a Red Leicester, a Blue Stilton, a Spanish goat’s cheese with red wine called Murcia Al Vino, and a local soft white cheese called Colwick.

The 1,300 or so Atlético fans expected to make the journey to Leicester will be encouraged to explore the shops, bars and attractions in Leicester’s historic city centre, before they meet up with their fellow fans in the Jubilee Square fanzone.

Local bands and a DJ will provide the entertainment in the fanzone, a licensed bar and food stall will be available, and face-painters and stilt walkers in Atlético and Leicester City kit will help create a family atmosphere.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We are certainly enjoying our time in the Champions League and look forward to giving the Atlético Madrid fans a warm welcome next Tuesday.

“I hope that they will take the opportunity to explore our historic city centre and go home with many happy memories of their visit.”

As Leicester’s home leg of the quarter-final takes place during the school holidays, and lots of youngsters will want to enjoy the build-up to the big game, the city council is organising a second, family-friendly fanzone in the city centre.

The Town Hall Square fanzone – organised in partnership with Leicester City Football Club – will be aimed at school-age fans, with inflatable goalposts, football activities, table tennis, a big screen and a climbing wall. Filbert Fox will also be dropping in to meet young Foxes’ fans.

There’ll also be the chance to see the Premier League trophy, which will be in the former tourist information centre – opposite the Town Hall on Every Street – from 12 noon until 3pm. Donations made by those taking their photo with the trophy will support the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the LCFC Foxes Foundation.

Both fanzones will open at 12 noon on Tuesday but their big screens will not be showing the match.

Fans without tickets for the game will be able to watch it live in BT Sport pubs in the city centre.