SINGAPORE – This July, the International Champions Cup returns to Singapore, and brings with it three of Europe’s top football clubs to face off against each other at the National Stadium.
Now in its sixth instalment, the prestigious global tournament has introduced a new global format, as 18 of the best clubs from around the world play 27 matches across the USA, Europe and Singapore, making it the only Asia-Pacific stop for the tournament. Unlike previous years, instead of choosing one champion per continent, the 18 clubs will vie for a single title of overall global champion.
The three teams that will be playing here are Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain, the latter of which will be in Singapore for the very first time, while Arsenal and Atletico Madrid previously played in Singapore in 2015 and 2013 respectively. Atletico Madrid will play Arsenal on Thursday 26th July, Arsenal will play Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday 28th July, and Paris Saint-Germain will play Atletico Madrid on Monday 30th July for the final match. These are rare chances for the teams to meet on the pitch, with this being only the second time Paris Saint-Germain will be facing off against Atletico Madrid, while Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain will be seeing a rematch of their 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League group stage faceoff, and Atletico Madrid and Arsenal’s match could be seen as a precursor to their Europa League semi-final match.
At the press conference held at the Artscience Museum today, legends from each of the three clubs were present to field questions from guests and the media – Robert Pieres from Arsenal, Jose Luis Perez Caminero from Atletico Madrid, and Maxwell Scherr from Paris Saint-Germain.
On the opportunity to play in Singapore, Scherr says: “We hope that everyone comes down and meets the players. It’s a good opportunity for us to be close to our fans, and we do have a lot of French fans here in Singapore. We’re going to train really hard, and we hope the local community enjoys these high quality matches.”
Says Pieres: “This is not the first time Arsenal is in Singapore, and it’s a good chance to meet with the fans once again. Even though these are ‘friendly’ matches, there’s still a trophy and championship at the end of the tournament, and on the field, you’re not friends when the only aim is to win. Idea of a competition, it’s friendly but there’s a trophy. On the field you have no friends, and your only aim is to win.”
Says Caminero: “It’s very important to start off the pre-season on a strong note, and playing again teams like Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, it’s good preparation for the remainder of the season and elevate our current level. In addition, Atletico may not be very well known in Singapore, but hopefully after these matches, we’ll gain some new fans here.”
The press conference ended with local rapper THELIONCITYBOY, a big fan of football himself, performing two of his original songs, including ‘Start Already’. The ICC is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, UnionPay, and Sport Singapore, amongst other sponsors, and with the inclusion and arrival of some of the strongest clubs from Europe, only drums up the hype as July draws closer, and brings the action closer to home, sure to fill the stadium with countless adrenaline pumped fans.
The International Champions Cup will take place on 26th, 28th and 30th July 2018 at the National Stadium, Singapore. Tickets to be released at 10am on 30th April from Sportshubtix. For more information visit the website here