Who’s who of Euro­pean foot­ball

CityPress - - Sport -

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.

PHOTO: MARCO LUZZANI / GETTY IM­AGES

UN­FOR­TU­NATE Marco Reus will miss his sec­ond big tour­na­ment through in­jury

PHOTO: GABRIELE MALTINTI / GETTY IM­AGES

ITAL­IAN FLAVOUR The Ital­ian side AC Mi­lan will be one of two, with In­ter Mi­lan, at the In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup pre­sea­son tour­na­ment

PHOTO: CHRIS BRUNSKILL LTD / GETTY IM­AGES

DE­FENCE Toure of Liver­pool in ac­tion with Kevin Gameiro of Sevilla dur­ing the Uefa Europa League fi­nal Kolo

PHOTO: GON­ZALO ARROYO MORENO / GETTY IM­AGES

CEL­E­BRA­TIONS Jordi Alba with team-mates Ney­mar JR and Lionel Messi in a pre­sea­son friendly at Wem­b­ley

PHOTO: UWE KRAFT / ANADOLU AGENCY / GETTY IM­AGES

GER­MAN GIANTS Bay­ern Mu­nich will be part of the In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup pre­sea­son tour­na­ment

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