Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo has taken the top spot in Alipay’s UEFA EURO 2020 Top Scorer rankings. For the first time in history, the winners will also receive a digital trophy issued on a blockchain.
Despite Ronaldo’s appearance in only four matches of the UEFA EURO 2020 series, the footballer grabbed the top spot due to his five goals and one assist. Following Ronaldo in the Alipay Top Scorer ranking is Patrik Schick of the Czech Republic and Karim Benzema of France.
While the UEFA Euro Top Scorer awards are nothing new, these unique trophies are an emblem of the current crypto age.
Alipay’s Top Scorer trophies are the first to utilize blockchain technology in this case. The scoring records of the top three scorers mentioned above are now permanently embedded on the AntChain blockchain.
Following the final game of the UEFA EURO 2020, Ant Group Chairman and CEO Eric Jing congratulated Cristiano Ronaldo. He also commented on future interactions between AntChain and UEFA:
“Just as we have used blockchain technology to permanently preserve the wonderful scoring moments of the top scorers like him, we will also keep working with UEFA, to explore innovative digital solutions that improve fans’ experiences while enjoying football,” said Jing.
AntGroup bridge crypto and culture
AntGroup, which is responsible for both AntChain and Alipay, is continuing to take large strides in bridging crypto with mainstream culture. In June of this year, the group solidified a contract between UEFA and AntChain to encourage blockchain usage in the football industry. This led to AntChain being recognized as the UEFA Euro 2020 official global blockchain partner.
The trophies designed by Alipay, are developed on the AntChain blockchain. A subsidiary of AntGroup, Alipay is one of the world’s top payment and lifestyle platforms.
Alipay’s appearance in one of Europe’s most coveted sports events adds to its list of recent developments. The platform also recently launched an in-app feature for the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Recaps of the scoring moments will be turned into digital collectibles preserved at UEFA.
Blockchain on the sports field
Alipay’s Top Scorer trophy was not the only way blockchain and crypto technologies found their way into the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament this past weekend.
Prior to the Italy vs England match, Italian football team captain Giorgio Chiellini released his first NFT collection. The digital collectible debuted on the new Blockasset marketplace. Blockasset intends to release other sports-related NFTs with other football and MMA stars.
Along with his digital collectible, dubbed the “Gladiator,” Chiellini’s NFT also presents the winning bidder with the opportunity to meet him. Many unique blends of digital and physical NFTs have also taken over the music world as well.
The EURO 2020 football season also saw the launch of a fantasy football league via FootballCoin to pioneer a fantasy blockchain platform. This season, which saw an increase in the incorporation of emerging technology and sports culture, is sure to set a precedent for the future of sports entertainment interactions.