Spartak Moscow gift

Links With The Past: 2021/22 European Gifts

Last week's tie against Randers was Leicester City’s 33rd match in continental football since we first entered European competition in 1961.
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In every one of these ties, City and their opponents have swapped pennants and gifts. On the occasion of the first European tie this season, opponents Napoli presented the Club with the rather unusual gift. It is a lucky horn, known as a cornicelli. It is made of terracotta and has a mask attached to it.

In Italy, the horn is a symbol of good luck and fertility. It derives from Greek and Roman myths which involve a nymph who nursed the infant Zeus on goat’s milk and a goat’s horn which Zeus filled with fruit and flowers.

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Napoli gift
Napoli gift

One of the gifts provided by Napoli was this 'lucky horn'.

In Italy, lucky horns are often worn as jewellery. They are also often seen on car rear view mirrors and in houses. The lucky horn must always be given as a gift and never bought for oneself.

The pennant is one of the four swapped by each team’s captains prior to kick-off in the two legs of the tie. 

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Napoli pennant
Napoli pennant

The pennant which was presented to Leicester City by Napoli.

City’s two UEFA Europa League games against Spartak Moscow earlier this season provided more additions to the Club’s heritage collection.

The pennant presented to the team before kick-off at the impressive 45,350 capacity Otkritie Bank Arena commemorates the first leg of the Foxes’ tie with the previous season’s runners-up in the Russian Premier League. The match will be remembered for Patson Daka’s feat of scoring four goals which secured a 4-3 victory for the visitors.

The reverse side of the pennant provides a summary of Spartak Moscow’s history.

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Spartak Moscow pennant
Spartak Moscow pennant

This pennant charts the history of Spartak Moscow.

It indicates that Spartak won the Soviet Russian title 12 times before the collapse of the USSR in 1991 and then won the Russian Premier League 10 times in the post-Soviet era. The other trophies depicted on the pennant are the Russian Super Cup, won in 2017, 10 Soviet Cups and three Russian Cups from the post-Soviet era.

Each of the four gold stars above the Club’s crest represents five league titles won in the Soviet Top League and in the Russian Premier League. The letter ‘C’ prominent in the club’s crest is the Russian alphabet equivalent of the letter ‘S’ as in Spartak.

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