Atlético Madrid coming to Melbourne for International Champions Cup
The line-up for this year’s International Champions Cup Australia has been locked away, with Spain’s Atlético Madrid announced as the fourth team for the tournament in Melbourne.
Organisers confirmed the entry on Wednesday, rounding out a draw that places current A-League champions Melbourne Victory with three European powerhouses – Juventus Football Club, Tottenham Hotspur and now Atlético Madrid – for the Australian leg of the global club competition.
Atlético will play the Spurs in the third and final game of the tournament at the MCG on Friday, July 29.
Atlético Madrid are one of the most successful clubs in Spanish soccer history, having have won 10 domestic La Liga titles and a multitude of other high-profile European trophies.
They are currently in second place in the Spanish league, five points off Barcelona in first.
Manager Diego Simeone said the competition would form a key part of his team’s pre-season training, while superstar striker Antoine Griezmann described the chance to play on the MCG as “amazing”.
“Hopefully we’ll have a packed out stadium cheering us on,” Griezmann said in a media release on Wednesday.
John Eren, Victoria’s minister for sport, said the inclusion of Atlético Madrid was another huge result for Australian soccer fans.
“The fans want the biggest European outfits in Melbourne, and that’s exactly what we’re delivering,” he said.
“The biggest contests belong in the city that does them best. We put on a great spectacle last year when more than 220,000 fans packed the MCG over three great nights, and we can’t wait to do it again.”
In the other matches already booked, Melbourne Victory will take on Juventus in the opening game at the MCG on July 23, before Juventus back up against Tottenham three days later, on July 26, also at the MCG.