For 5 years now, Champions Bank League has brought together teams from the world of finance, payments, insurance and successfully so with the help of the organizer – Intesa Sanpaolo Banks Division but also the sponsors – and we are proud to be one of them this year. The organizers are fully committed and dedicated to promote and spread “5F” values among colleagues from all over the World: football, finance, friendship, fairness and fun and this could have been well noticed just upon entering the Austria Trend Hotel in Ljubljana where the event was officially opened on Friday 27th.
There were 50 teams, 6 of them being women teams, coming from all over the world – Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Malta, Ukraine, UK, Netherlands, Montenegro, Austria, Switzerland. All of the teams were wearing their football jerseys and the colours were mixing throughout the space during the eventful night. The famous sport celebrities were invited to welcome the teams and give them piece of advice for the tournament emphasizing the teams should first and foremost be fair and have fun.
Before that the sponsors gave a word of courage to the teams and from our side Gordana Breyer, our Head of External Relations, wished the players good luck and said how proud we are to support the tournament.
After that the sport celebrities came running on the stage one after another – Nicola Rizzoli, former Italian football referee famous for the 2014 World Cup when he refereed the match between Germany and Argentina, Damir Skomina, the UEFA Elite category football referee from Koper, Slovenia, Rasho Nesterovic, the 2.13 meter high former NBA player for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, and Toronto Raptors, Gianluca Zambrotta, Italian former football player who was among other clubs in Juventus, FC Barcelona, AC Milan and played in the Italian team when they won the 2006 World Cup.
They were all met with excitement, cheering and applause from the audience but one especially unique moment was when the team from Malta did their special dance for Zambrotta honouring him and his success in the football world.
After a great opening event, the second day of the league was reserved for matches and on 29th September were the finals. The winner of men’s league was IRF Montenegro and HDI won the women’s league.