The football stadium in Eerikkilä was named Jari Litmanen Areena. The new name and the gallery of honour in the arena’s hallway are a tribute to the greatest Finnish footballer of all time and to the whole Finnish football culture.
The gallery of honour in the Jari Litmanen Areena showcases significant players, coaches and background influencers of Finnish football history, from managers to team managers. These people have been grouped by decade, starting from the beginning of 1900s and ending in 2020s. There are also pictures of all the footballers and futsal players who have played at least one hundred games in Finland’s national sports team and have already retired. There is also a list of all the players who have played in the national sports team. Photo gallery will be continued in the future.
The CEO of Eerikkilä, Petri Jakonen, says that these actions pay respect to all those working in the field, no matter their role. However, the founder of Eerikkilä, Erik von Frenckell, and the greatest Finnish footballer of all time, Jari Litmanen, deserve special attention in this story.
“One justification for the existence of Eerikkilä is that we help Finnish football live and succeed. It is important for the future generations to get the big picture of Finnish football history. With Jari’s example, they will hopefully understand that, even in Finland, hard work can bring you worldwide success.”
“It is great that Jari accepted our suggestion and we now have something physical to show in our arena. This is a big deal for Eerikkilä and Finnish football. I want to thank the Football Association of Finland for helping make this project possible. Our goal is to continue making football culture visible in Eerikkilä even in the future.”
The gallery of honour in the Jari Litmanen Areena showcases significant players, coaches and background influencers of Finnish football history, from managers to team managers. Pictured Jari Litmanen and Lennart Wangel. Photo: Lassi Puhtimäki
Jari Litmanen is thankful and humbled for the arena named after him and the gallery of honour.
“For me personally, this is a great honour. I want to thank Eerikkilä for the project implementation and everyone else who has been part of it. In addition to the tribute for me, it is just as important to pay attention to all the others who have impacted Finland’s football history. We have not survived and we will not survive alone but we need people on our side. Managers, coaches, team managers and teammates. It is great to have them all present in the gallery of honour. It is good to remember that without history there would be no present and no future.”
Marco Casagrande, General Secretary of Football Association of Finland, rejoices at the tribute for Litmanen and the whole sport. According to him, the inspiring environment and the appreciation for the past are important factors when it comes to building a successful future for Finnish football.
“During the previous decades, Eerikkilä has been the home for the players in our national team and it has, in many ways, an important role in raising and building the identity of Finnish football and futsal. It is great to have the pioneers of football present in the form of pictures as the new generations come and reach for their dreams. These kinds of actions build and deepen the football and futsal culture.”
Jari Litmanen Areena is a heated and lit natural lawn field with a covered stand for 700 seats. Women’s national team Helmarit and the national youth team, among other teams, practice and play in the Jari Litmanen Areena.
You can visit the gallery of honour in Jari Litmanen Areena on your own by contacting Eerikkilä’s reception beforehand. Nitro, Coloro and the Sports Museum of Finland have been involved in planning and executing the visual elements of Jari Litmanen Areena. Photos: Lassi Puhtimäki Video: Hannu Aaltonen
Communications Manager Elina Pennanen tel. +358 40 574 3345 email@example.com
The gallery of honour in the Jari Litmanen Areena showcases significant players, coaches and background influencers of Finnish football history, from managers to team managers.