After two weeks of soccer including Chelsea, Real Madrid, Everton, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Valencia and the LA Galaxy the Guinness International Champions Cup ended the Sun Life Stadium, in South Beach, jam packed with delighted fans.
Miami was a abuzz with 67,273-strong crowd for the LA Galaxy vs AC Milan match. Galaxy and AC Milan battled for third place before Chelsea and Real Madrid faced off for the title in the inaugural competition, played in Spain and across the United States over the past two weeks.
Real Madrid won over Chelsea, 3-1, in a dramatic game that was certainly not treated like a friendly by the players or the fans. The biggest roars came from Cristiano Ronaldo who scored a free kick over the Chelsea wall in the 31st minute and then another in a perfectly timed shot in the 57th minute.
Speaking about the Champions Cup, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told Goal.com “I think in the United States has demonstrated for more than 20 years now that we have fans of European football, no question about it.
“They want to see these great teams and great players, and they come out in great numbers. You can't argue that."
The ICC was a preseason tournament but there was certainly a competitive tone to the matches. The A-list players also took the opportunity to get in game shape for the upcoming season. The games also allowed coaches to evaluate their talent.
Everton head coach Roberto Martinez said “This is when you have to see the partnerships and how players interact with each other.
“We had the opportunity to play against the best back three in the world in Juventus in the first game. Then we played against maybe the best counter-attacking football [club] in Real Madrid. And today we played against a very well-structured and organized team who knows how to keep the ball, so it was a very good test.”
Valencia head coach Miroslav Dukic said “This is a big tournament that is well-organized and we are proud to have played our part.
“We are happy we've been able to show we are up there with the big teams and we belong with them. We played well today in Miami and we're thankful for all the support and friendliness we've received on our trip.”
Happy Earth Day! Ireland sure looks gorgeous from outer space