Pre-season friendlies can often be dull and drab affairs, but tonight’s match between LA Galaxy and Real Madrid will pit two of world football’s biggest names against one-another in America.
It will also see two league champions go head-to-head at The Home Depot Center, with MLS Cup winners and La Liga champions meeting in one of four World Football Challenge matches for Los Blancos.
Having drawn with Spurs less than a fortnight ago, the feeling inside the Galaxy camp is that they can compete against top European teams, and their form in the MLS has certainly improved since June, losing twice whilst winning seven times in 10 matches.
Jose Mourinho’s side will pose an altogether different proposition to the usual opposition, however, with Madrid looking to sharpen their skills before the SuperCopa clash against Barcelona later this month.
Manager Bruce Arena admits it’s an occasion for the fans as much as the players though, with the Galaxy boss knowing his players need to focus on reaching the play-offs in the Western Conference.
“I think these games are for the fans and they’re going to see one of the great teams in the world, arguably maybe the best team in the world last year and some obvious stars coming in here,” noted Arena.
For David Beckham, it’s another chance to test his skills against a top club, having competed for the MLS all-stars against Chelsea a week ago.
The game has special relevance for Beckham because of his previous time in Madrid too, having won the Spanish title in his final year with Real back in 2007.
"It's always a game that, especially young players look forward to because you get to come out against some of the best players, and obviously one of the best managers in football," said Beckham.
"It's an exhibition game and a game that obviously none of their players will want to get injured. But the mentality of players that play at Real Madrid and especially Cristiano (Ronaldo), he'll want to play well and win the game."
Given the importance of the clash against Seattle in just three days time, players like Beckham are only likely to feature for 45 minutes in this prestigious friendly.
That will give fans enough time to see two of the games modern greats go head-to-head in California, however, and when Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham are on the same pitch at the same time, it’s surely a sight that you don’t want to miss.
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