Scorer of best Euro 2020 goal to get Russian digital trophy


GENEVA — A unique trophy will go to the scorer of the best European Championship goal — a piece of Russian crypto-art animating an original work that will be destroyed.

The first soccer award at a major tournament taking the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) is being created with tournament sponsor Gazprom, UEFA said Friday.

Mainstream interest in authenticated digital art peaked in March when a piece sold for $69.4 million at auction.

The winning player will be invited to receive the award at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland after the June 11-July 11 tournament.

“The NFT-trophy will be delivered using a hardware cryptocurrency wallet,” Russian state energy firm Gazprom said in a statement. “The name of the trophy winner will be coded into the trophy.”

The original artwork will be “physically created” at the Euro 2020 fan zone in St. Petersburg, said the sponsor, which did not identify who the artist will be.

St. Petersburg is hosting seven of the 51 games at Euro 2020, which will be played in 11 different cities around Europe.

“Later on, the artwork would be scanned to 3D animated video, which becomes the basis for creating an NFT-token trophy,” Gazprom said.

The plan is for the original artwork to be publicly destroyed, though a fragment will be kept and presented to the winning player.

UEFA has never made a formal award for goal of the tournament at previous European Championships, and is deciding how the inaugural Euro 2020 winner will be judged.

FIFA organizes a world-wide vote of fans to choose the best goal at a World Cup. France defender Benjamin Pavard was chosen in 2018 for his shot against Argentina in the round of 16.

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