International Champions Cup: Leicester City to face Barcelona as Chelsea and Liverpool to meet in California
Leicester City will face European giants Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic in this summer’s International Champions Cup to be played at venues across the globe.
At a press conference in New York it was confirmed that Chelsea, Liverpool, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Internazionale and Real Madrid will also participate in the lucrative exhibition competition.
Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur plan to be involved in stand-alone international showcases in China and Australia while Manchester United will not take part after announcing an eight-day, two-game tour of Asia this summer.
Premier League holders Chelsea are scheduled to meet up with English rivals Liverpool on July 27 before clashes with Milan and Madrid.
A crowd of 109,318 watched United and Real play at the Michigan Stadium in 2014 and organisers hope this year’s line-up will draw similar crowds across three continents.
In July, Leicester travel to Glasgow to meet Celtic before a trip to Los Angeles for a showpiece match against Paris Saint-Germain.
The current Premier League leaders, however, will be most buoyed by the prospect of facing European champions Barcelona in Stockholm on August 3.
The decision to invite Claudio Ranieri’s side is a surprise after comments by Charlie Stillitano, the chairman of Relevent Sports and the man behind the tournament’s creation, whereby the American tycoon questioned their international pedigree.
“What would Manchester United argue: did we create soccer or did Leicester create it?” said Stillitano, who met executives from United, City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool at the Dorchester Hotel in London this month.
“Let’s call it the money pot created by soccer and the fandom around the world. Who has had more of an integral role, Manchester United or Leicester? It’s a wonderful, wonderful story but you could see it from Manchester United’s point of view.”
The scheduling of the competition, between July 17 and August 13, presents difficulties for many with Celtic planning to squeeze in a game against Leicester on July 23 around home and away Champions League second-round qualifiers.
The full list of matches which will be played in stadia throughout North America and Europe are:
Saturday, July 23
Celtic v Leicester City, Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland
Sunday, July 24
Paris Saint-Germain v Inter Milan, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
Wednesday, July 27
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Bayern Munich v AC Milan, Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Liverpool v Chelsea, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Saturday, July 30
Celtic v Barcelona, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
Chelsea v Real Madrid, TBA, United States venue
Bayern Munich v Inter Milan, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Liverpool v AC Milan, Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, California
Paris Saint-Germain v Leicester City, Los Angeles, California. TBA venue
Wednesday, August 3
Barcelona v Leicester City, Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Chelsea v AC Milan, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saturday, August 6
Liverpool v Barcelona, TBA European venue
Saturday, August 13
Celtic v Inter Milan, TBA European venue