English Premier League (EPL) giants Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, along with Italian Serie A’s top clubs Juventus and Inter Milan have been announced on Wednesday morning (March 27) as the teams playing in the International Champions Cup (ICC) in Singapore in July.
The pre-season tournament for Europe’s top football clubs will be played in Singapore’s National Stadium.
The Red Devils will take on Inter on July 20 and a day later, the Old Lady of Turin will meet Spurs.
Legends from the clubs – Dwight Yorke (United), Francesco Toldo (Inter), Fabrizio Ravanelli (Juventus) and Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham) were present at the launch at the Incubator, near the Padang.
With no World Cup and European Championship played in the summer, the stage is set for a galaxy of stars to play in Singapore, apart from the South American players involved in the Copa America.
Sheringham said: “There is nothing like seeing the teams in the flesh. And with no distraction of other big tournaments (in Europe), hopefully all the big players will be on show for our Asian fans.”
Yorke added: “We know that Asia is one of our biggest markets and, certainly, Singapore is very important. We want to feel connected to our fanbase and we are excited to come back (to Singapore) and to improve our brand as well.”
United’s visit will be particularly exciting to its large fanbase here. The club last played in Singapore in 2001, when a side that featured Roy Keane, David Beckham and even goalkeeper Fabien Barthez playing up front defeated a Singapore Selection side 8-1, with Lions striker Indra Sahdan scoring for the hosts.
Former Italian international striker Ravanelli took the opportunity to indulge in some banter with Inter, saying: “We are different from Inter because we (Juventus) are always at the top. We are constantly expanding tactically but we also want to improve our knowledge and understanding of this part of the world.”
In 2017, when the ICC first came to Singapore, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Inter Milan were the elite clubs that were invited.
Last year, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were the teams that battled it out at Kallang.