As we reported last week, the 2015 International Champions Cup will be expanding to Asia next summer. And now reports confirm today that talks are under away to have some of the games hosted in Australia in July, 2015 (as well as the United States).
The news comes after the Premier of Victoria confirmed that the Victorian State Government is currently in the process of securing three pre-season fixtures to be played between the world’s elite at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), a multi-purpose arena with a capacity of over 100,000 spectators.
Denis Napthine, the premier, also went on to claim that the government is specifically targeting clubs the likes of European Champions Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
The matches will most likely take place on July 25, 29 and 31 at the MCG, with the demand for tickets expected to bring millions of Australian dollars to the state economy.
The news comes as a timely reminder of the rapid growth of Australian soccer in recent years, and the valiant displays of the Socceroos at the World Cup in the ‘group of death’ suggest that the future is bright.
Domestically, the A-League itself has also experienced exponential growth in recent seasons; the signings of Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero, and more recently, the loan signing of David Villa to Melbourne City, a franchise of Manchester City, is a testament to soccer’s increasingly positive influence on the public domain.
And although Australians have had the pleasure of welcoming the likes of Manchester United and Juventus in recent years in an attempt to gauge the interest of many who lack genuine enthusiasm to support the growth of the game on a whole, the arrival of International Champions Cup would be beyond influential.
Like Americans, Australians love their sport, and while soccer often plays second fiddle to rugby and the AFL in terms of media coverage, the arrival of such high calibre clubs would definitely help in bringing the game to the fore, and make it a truly universal game.
So while you might be forgiven for turning a blind eye on Juventus, turning down an opportunity to watch Ronaldo, Bale and others work their magic would be too good to miss.