by Michael Pearson
After decades of hollow one-off summer exhibition matches, the inaugural Guinness® International Champions Cup promises something far more prestigious and meaningful than any pre-season spectacle before it.
Real Madrid, Valencia, Milan, Internazionale, Juventus, Chelsea, Everton and LA Galaxy, will contest the tournament, over seven days, at six marquee venues across the United States, with semi-finals in New York and Los Angeles and finals in Miami.
All teams will play at least three matches in the grouped tournament, which will open on July 27th in Valencia, with the Spanish hosts taking on Milan.
The first round match-ups will also see Everton playing Juventus in San Francisco, Real Madrid against LA Galaxy in Phoenix, and Chelsea facing Inter Milan in Indianapolis.
The winners of the quarterfinal matches will face off in the semi-final round, while the losing teams will also continue to play each other in a parallel consolation competition.
The event press coverage boasts of; “Over 160 of the World’s Best Players, Including Cristiano Ronaldo, Gianluigi Buffon, Javier Zanetti, Sergio Ramos and Landon Donovan.”
It will also offer a tantalising first glimpse into the new eras of Mourinho, Martinez, Mazzari, Tevez and Llorente.
The tournament will be televised in 151 countries across the world and conclude on August 6-7 when all eight teams descend upon Miami’s Sun Life Stadium for a pair of thrilling doubleheaders including the championship final match on August 7.
“The combination of these eight marquee teams takes this tournament to a calibre never seen before in international soccer,” said Charlie Stillitano, Relevent Sports CEO.
“Fans across the globe will be able to witness the beautiful game at some of the most iconic venues in America, including the famed Dodger Stadium.”
Dodger Stadium will host its first Soccer game since 1951.
The full schedule for The Guinness® International Champions Cup is:
July 27 – Valencia v AC Milan – Mestalla, Valencia
July 31 – Everton v Juventus – AT&T Park, San Francisco
August 1 – Chelsea v Inter – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
August 1 – Real Madrid v LA Galaxy, University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix
August 3 – Semis – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
August 4 – Semis – MetLife Stadium, New Jersey
August 6 – 7th place and 5th place matches – Sun Life Stadium, Miami
August 7 – 3rd place and Championship final – Sun Life Stadium, Miami