There is an interesting competition going on at the moment called the International Champions Cup. I don’t know why it is called that because not all the club teams are league champions, nor is there a “winner” of this cup. The structure is as follows:
Games Played in USA/Europe:
- Celtic Glasgow, Leicester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Ac Milan, Paris St. Germain, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona
Games Played in Australia:
- Melbourne, Juventus Turin, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid
Games Played in China:
- Manchester United, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund
The main reason for these “local” tournaments is to promote European soccer outside Europe to generate fan bases and eventually revenue through TV contracts and merchandise sales. All the teams are in their pre-season phases so it does allow the coaches to test strategies, tactics, and give new/youth/bench players an opportunity to play and perform. With many new coaches and player transfers it is an excellent opportunity for teams and staff to get to know each other – travel time offers many one on one discussion times. So there is a lot of coaching value, somewhat off-set by travel requirements and being away from regular training grounds.
From a fan perspective these games are fun to watch, in person and on television. I encourage you to tune in if they are broadcast in your area.
Lastly, kudos to whomever organizes this event – it cannot be easy to get commitments from teams of this calibre.
To follow all the results, check the web site International Champions Cup