Real Madrid, Juventus, Internazionale and Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy will participate in a new eight-team tournament that will take place in the US in July, it was confirmed yesterday.
RSE Ventures, headed by billionaire Stephen Ross, who also owns the Miami Dolphins NFL American football franchise, confirmed that the International Champions Cup would have a knockout format and would offer significant prize money. Although the other teams have not been confirmed yet, AC Milan, Galatasaray and two clubs from the English Premier League are in talks to join the tournament, according to Reuters.
Full details of the teams and venues are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks, but the final of the tournament will take place at the Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Fox Sports has struck a deal to show the competition in the US, and talks are taking place to secure further rights deals worldwide. “What is different is that this is a real tournament. Obviously in the past we have had friendly matches and some have been very successful,” Charlie Stillitano, chief executive of Relevant Sports, RSE’s soccer division, told Reuters.
“We are trying to bring a bit of that Champions League magic to pre-season,” he added. “We know it is not the Champions League but managers have told us they can’t go through pre-season playing games that mean nothing.” Real Madrid’s director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno, added: “Playing for Real Madrid means, in any case, you have to win every match but playing a tournament is going to give the players something extra.”