Real Madrid and Chelsea F.C., two teams that, between them, have won three of the last five UEFA Champions League trophies, face off in a high-profile friendly that will stream live as the International Champions Cup takes its festivities to Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday.
In addition to winning the 2012 Champions League, Chelsea also won the UEFA Europa League in 2013. Real Madrid captured the Champions League trophy, the most prestigious prize for a club team in Europe, in 2014 and then again this year.
Of course, the difference in the International Champions Cup — because the matches serve as preparation for the European season, in addition to a star-powered exhibition to bring the best of world football to American crowds — is that not all of the top players will take the pitch on Saturday.
— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) July 30, 2016
Real Madrid is expected to miss the man who is arguably the world’s most famous player, as certainly one of the best, Cristiano Ronaldo, who continues to recuperate after suffering an injury in the final of the 2016 Euros, which his Portugal team ended up winning anyway.
Gareth Bale, who led his Wales team on an unlikely journey all the way to 2016 Euro semifinals — only to lose 2-0 to his Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo and Portugal — will also remain out of action.
On the other hand, James Rodriguez and Sergio Ramos are listed as possible to see their preseason debuts.
“Right now, what they’re doing is exactly the same as the other players,” Real Madrid Manager Zinedine Zidane said at a press conference on Friday in Michigan. “The same type of training and they’re following the same plan. Tomorrow, in the morning, they’ll train again. And in the afternoon, we’ll see if they’re able to play.”
To watch a live stream of Real Madrid vs. Chelsea in the International Champions Cup, see the video below — or use the streaming links at the bottom of this article. Kickoff s scheduled for 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, noon Pacific, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday, July 30.
Fans in the United Kingdom can catch the live stream at 8 p.m. British Summer Time.
A massive crowd of over 100,000 is expected to pack the college football stadium, which this time around will feature a temporary grass pitch. When Real Madrid faced Manchester United in an International Champions cup match at Michigan Stadium in 2014, almost 110,000 fans jammed the stadium — but Manchester United’s then-manager, Louis Van Gaal, complained that the artificial surface was inadequate to insure high-quality play.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) July 28, 2016
That match set a record for attendance at a soccer match in the United States, but International Champions Cup organizers hope to top that mark on Saturday.
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To watch the Real Madrid vs. Chelsea International Champions Cup match stream live from Michigan Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday, use the stream provided by WatchESPN at this link or download the WatchESPN app to watch the clash between two of Europe’s most powerful teams on mobile devices.
Fans without an ESPN cable subscription with access to WatchESPN can view the match live via the Sling TV internet TV streaming package at this link. The package, which carries a variety of channels, including ESPN, which carries the 2016 International Champions Cup Real Madrid vs. Chelsea match, costs $20 per month. But Sling TV offers a seven-day free trial, so subscribers can choose whether or not to keep the streaming service after watching the Real Madrid vs. Chelsea International Champions Cup match stream live online.
A Spanish-language live stream of the Real Madrid vs. Chelsea International Champions Cup showdown is also available via WatchESPN at this link.
[Featured Photo By Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]