Who’s who of European football
The thirst for quality club football is becoming increasingly insatiable, leading to the rising popularity of preseason tours and tournaments.
Friendly fixtures have become an exercise in marketing as they are used to get the squad ready for the new season, leading to tournaments that now span continents, such as the International Champions Cup.
This year’s list of participants is a who’s who of European football, with three events set to take place across the US, Europe, Australia and China from July 22 to August 13.
The USA-Europe tournament is the biggest, featuring Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Leicester City, Celtic, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
Leicester kick off the tournament against Celtic on July 23 in Glasgow, but their biggest matches are the back-to-back clashes against PSG in the US and Barcelona in Sweden on July 30 and August 3, respectively.
Chelsea and Liverpool face off in Pasadena, California, on July 27 before the Blues lock horns with Real Madrid in Ann Arbor, Michigan, three days later.
Liverpool’s final match of the event is a nailbiting clash against Barcelona at Wembley in London on August 6.
Tottenham Hotspur are the only English representatives in the Australian leg of the tournament and have a double-header in Melbourne against Juventus on July 26 and Atletico Madrid three days later.
The final leg will take place in China, with archrivals Manchester United and Manchester City set to do battle in Beijing on July 25, with the former playing against Borussia Dortmund three days before and the latter three days after.
Arsenal had to cancel their Emirates Cup due to scheduling conflicts with the Euros and are using the time to re-lay the pitch at the Emirates Stadium. They are still headed to the US for a couple of friendlies against the Major Soccer League All Star team on July 28 in San José and Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara on July 31 in Los Angeles.
UNFORTUNATE Marco Reus will miss his second big tournament through injury
ITALIAN FLAVOUR The Italian side AC Milan will be one of two, with Inter Milan, at the International Champions Cup preseason tournament
DEFENCE Toure of Liverpool in action with Kevin Gameiro of Sevilla during the Uefa Europa League final Kolo
CELEBRATIONS Jordi Alba with team-mates Neymar JR and Lionel Messi in a preseason friendly at Wembley
GERMAN GIANTS Bayern Munich will be part of the International Champions Cup preseason tournament