Champions League: Millennium Stadium to host 2017 final

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium
Cardiff's Millennium Stadium hosted the 1999 Rugby World Cup final just months after opening

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium has been confirmed as the venue for the 2017 Champions League final by Uefa.

The match will be played on Saturday, 3 June while the Women's Champions League final will be held two days earlier at Cardiff City Stadium.

The 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium hosted the FA Cup final, League Cup final, Community Shield and Football League play-offs from 2001 to 2006.

Olympic football games were played there in 2012.

The major city centre venue in the Welsh capital will also stage eight 2015 Rugby World Cup matches.

It missed out on hosting fixtures for the 2020 European Championship.

Manchester United won the 2004 FA Cup final against Millwall in Cardiff
Manchester United won the 2004 FA Cup final against Millwall in Cardiff

Real Madrid's Cardiff-born forward Gareth Bale said "it would be fantastic to be involved in front of a packed crowd at such an iconic stadium in 2017".

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) led the bid to host one of Uefa's major finals with support from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), which owns Millennium Stadium.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford welcomed the announcement by European football's governing body.

"We believe that staging both the 2017 Uefa Champions League final and 2017 Uefa Women's Champions League final will have a positive and long-lasting effect on Welsh football," said Ford.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of two years' of hard work and I'd like to thank all those who've helped the FAW fulfil its ambition."

Jayne Ludlow
Jayne Ludlow became Wales Women's team manager in October, 2014

FAW president Trefor Lloyd Hughes said: "Welsh football is certainly on the up and we look forward to working closely with Uefa and all of our stakeholders over the next two years to deliver two memorable finals."

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis said: "The Millennium Stadium is one of Europe's great sporting arenas and I am confident it will provide a fitting stage for the 2017 Uefa Champions League final."

Wales Women's team manager Jayne Ludlow also welcomed Cardiff hosting the 2017 female final.

"Having played in the competition with Arsenal and having had the honour of lifting the trophy in 2007, it will be great to welcome the world's best female footballers to Wales in 2017," said Ludlow.

The Welsh capital has a history of hosting major sporting events, including the final of the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

Cardiff City Stadium played host to the 2014 Super Cup, in which Real Madrid - the club of Wales star Gareth Bale - beat Sevilla.