For years, they have come here for preseason training, which includes playing exhibition games in packed stadiums. They will do so again this summer, but there will be a competitive aspect to those games.
Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan will be among the eight top clubs that will compete in a new preseason tournament. The competition, called the International Champions Cup, will also include the L.A. Galaxy, Reuters reports.
The ICC’s first game will take place in Europe on July 27. The knockout competition will then migrate to the U.S. for seven days of games at venues across the country. The final games — for seventh place, fifth place, third place and the championship — will take place at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on August 6-7, according to the Miami Herald.
RSE Ventures is organizing the tournament. The Miami-based company will offer “significant” prize money and a trophy to the winner.
“What is different is that this is a real tournament,” Relevant Sports (the soccer arm of RSE Ventures) CEO Charlie Stillitano told Reuters. “Obviously in the past we have had friendly matches and some have been very successful.
“We are trying to bring a bit of that [UEFA] Champions League magic to preseason. We know it is not the Champions League but managers have told us they can’t go through preseason playing games that mean nothing.”
FOX Soccer Channel will reportedly broadcast the ICC, and fans in 150 countries will be able to watch it.
But the privilege of watching the world’s top players play meaningful games in person belongs to fans in one country — the United States.