Why Porto created a trophy named 'The Arsenal Cup'

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PREMIER LEAGUE Why Porto created a trophy named 'The Arsenal Cup'

Mark Kinyanjui 16:23 - 21.02.2024

The Arsenal  Cup, which is displayed in Porto’s museum, is sensationally over two meters tall and weighs over 250kgs. However, this is why they created cup, named in honor of the Gunners,

Arsenal boasts an impressive history of winning numerous trophies. One particularly unique honor came in the form of a trophy named after them, thanks to FC Porto, the side they are facing in the 2023/2024 Champions League Round of 16.

This exceptional trophy, valued at approximately £300,000 in today's currency, stands over two meters tall and is prominently displayed within FC Porto's museum.

The intriguing story behind this trophy dates back to May 1948 when Arsenal, having just secured their record-equalling sixth league triumph, embarked on a short tour of Portugal. 

At the time, they were widely recognized as the most powerful team in Europe, if not the world. The Portuguese team, still recovering from a humbling 10-0 defeat by the England national side the previous year, sought redemption and a chance to showcase their prowess against the esteemed Arsenal.

During a match against Oporto at Estádio do Lima, Arsenal found themselves trailing 3-0 at halftime, causing manager Tom Whittaker to make strategic substitutions. 

The Gunners rallied in the second half, scoring goals and mounting relentless attacks. Despite Oporto resorting to time-wasting tactics, the crowd erupted in celebration when the final whistle blew, marking a significant victory for the Portuguese side.

In a gesture of commemoration and national pride, Oporto decided to commission a trophy known as The Arsenal Cup.

 The club called upon prominent jewelers in Portugal to submit tenders for this monumental icon, estimated to cost 70,000 escudos, equivalent to £300,000 today. 

The funds were generously provided by the club's members and supporters moved by the team's remarkable achievement.

Designed at Ourivesaria Alianca in Porto and crafted by Marinho Brito and Albano Franca, The Arsenal Cup is a masterpiece weighing 250kg, with 130kg of pure silver.

Standing at 2.8 meters, the trophy features three sculptured figures of women rising on tiptoe, holding the cup, accompanied by three athletes reaching to symbolize the sweet taste of victory. 

The cup is encased in a glass cabinet with a wooden frame, supported by four silver dragons, allowing it to be admired from all angles. The intricate design incorporates gold, enamel, crystal, fine wood, marble, and velvet.

The trophy itself is a stunning silver creation, adorned with silver cherubs and figures holding up plinths. 

At its pinnacle is a silver sculpture depicting an athlete kneeling and controlling a lion. The athlete holds a flame aloft in his right hand, while his left hand grasps the flag of FC Porto. Dominating the entire piece is the figure of victory.

The Arsenal Cup remains proudly displayed in Porto's club museum, serving as a tangible reminder of their historic 3-2 victory over Arsenal.

 The win, celebrated on the club's official website, is hailed as a pivotal moment, showcasing the blue and whites' potential and triumph over the then-acknowledged best team in the world.

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